Jemma & Simon are good friend's of my wife and mine so it was a pleasure to not only photograph their day but take part as a fully qualified guest. Thank you for having us guys, it was a truly brilliant wedding!
WHERE WAS IT? St. Gregory’s Church, Heckingham, Norfolk – it involved obtaining a special licence from the Archbishop's office for permission (as it’s a redundant church). Although we didn’t get the licence until 3 weeks before the wedding, the stress was definitely worth it! I have very fond memories of singing in the church from my childhood. The service was followed by a reception at The Great Barn at Hales Hall, in my parents village.
THE THEME/STYLE: Rustic… I’m a country girl, the Church is in the middle of nowhere and the reception venue too, it seemed like the natural choice!
BRIDE’S DRESS: Private label from The White Dress Boutique in Leamington Spa, although it’s unrecognisable from the original dress…I had quite a few alterations!
BRIDE’S SHOES: Rainbow club from John Lewis, they were padded at the toe, now that should be a staple on all heels!
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I wore a pearl and diamond necklace that Si gave to me on the eve of the wedding, along with pearl earrings he bought be for my birthday a few years ago. It was perfect because I had bought a vintage pearl brooch to customise my wedding dress!
HAIR: By Gemma Holiday
MAKEUP: By Paula Daynes
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Full length sage green dresses from Dessy
WEDDING RINGS : Si took me back to the very same shop in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham where he designed my engagement ring
GROOM/GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE/COLOURS: Navy suits purchased from Ted Baker and sage green accessories hired from Peter Posh. Si’s two and half year old nephew stole the show in his matching navy suit, waitcoat and tie!
FLOWERS: By Ali Calver at the Assembly House, Norwich
RECEPTION DÉCOR DETAILS: Our table centres continued the rustic theme with discs of oak trees, birch candle holders and our tables were names after places we’d visited together…each table featured a framed vintage postcard of that place – a random collection of vintage postcards that usually hang on our dining room wall! I designed all of the stationary too, from save the dates, invites, menus and even the guest book through blurb.
WEDDING PLANNER: Me…and I loved every minute! Si took the lead on the food, wine, car though & we had a LOT of help from friends and family too, including days of cleaning the redundant church so it was wedding-worthy!
CAKE: A team effort from the mums which was so special. My mum made the cake using Grandma’s recipe fruit cake and Si’s mum went back to sugar craft lessons to brush up on her decoration skills! The sugar roses matched my coral bouquet perfectly and took her over an hour each…and she made over 50! The overall look was amazing…we didn’t want to cut it!
FOOD & DRINKS: Food by Picnic catering at Hales Hall…the trio of desserts was the highlight! For our welcome drinks we had Pimms on the lawn and canapés which seemed fitting to the beautiful gardens there, and the fishfinger sandwiches and bacon baps in the evening went down a storm!
WEDDING FAVOURS: Grandad’s recipe sloe gin recipe for the guys and grandma’s recipe raspberry jam for the girls
HONEYMOON: Two weeks in Thailand including Elephant trekking, Thai cookery lessons and a week of sheer relaxation at the Six Senses in Koh Samui
WEDDING SONGS/FIRST DANCE: Our friend, Charlotte Colley, a soprano singer performed Adele’s ‘Make you feel my Love’ and ‘Pie Jesu’ at our service which was so personal and moving. I walked down the aisle to a classical piano piece – Yiruma’s ‘River Flows’ played beautifully by Paul Mizen and which made me cry even in rehearsal! Our first dance was ‘Rather be with you’ by Joshua Radin followed by a brilliant night of entertainment by Pinstripe Suit in which our good friend Kirsty sings.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: The name of our house ‘Olive Cottage’ inspired both the colour scheme and the tree icon running throughout all our stationary. In addition, I had great fun using Pinterest for all those little touches!
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Mine – There are two…firstly, walking into the church and being overwhelmed by the number of friendly faces, and looking up to the end of the aisle just at the moment Si turned round to see me and to see him smile. Secondly, hearing church bells ring!...We knew that St. Gregory’s church had inactive bells, but my uncle had rigged up speakers in the bell tower to play a recording of bell-ringers, it was such a lovely surprise!
Si’s – Sitting in the garden of our honeymoon suite, gone midnight, under the stars, after the guests had left, and reflecting on an incredible day