London-based Bride & Groom, Alistair & Clancy, had initially planned to wed at Voewood in Norfolk, an exclusive use venue in the summer of 2020. This was going to be one to remember – a lavish wedding with 180 guests including friends and family from around the country at one of Norfolk’s most renowned venues.

How it began – plans for a large North Norfolk wedding

Voewood is known for its breath-taking sprawling gardens, stunning grade II listed hall and being host to numerous bohemian style events and one-of-a-kind weddings.

The plan was to have two large marquees at the exclusive use venue – until COVID-19 struck.

Towards the end of January, the UK’s first cases were reported and in the following days the world health organisation declared a global health emergency.

COVID-19 rumbled on during the beginning of the year picking up pace and led to the first UK lockdown. It was at this point that we made the decision to move the original wedding date in June. Throughout all of the rescheduling, picking a new date without any idea of how long lockdown would continue and what the summer restrictions might look like, proved to be the hardest thing! Eventually we settled on September with various contingency plans being put in place to cover all manner of ‘what if’s that the government and COVID may throw at us! Post lockdown, new restrictions were applied to social gatherings and weddings including now only allowing 30 guests, enforced social distancing, temperature checks and plenty of hand sanitiser. Luckily this meant that the September date we had picked was a possibility and so in the middle of August we began putting the finishing touches to the wedding plans.

Experienced and undeterred – we adapted the initial wedding plans into a small, intimate event with close family and loved ones.

Photography by Charlie Campney 

What happened – adapting to COVID restrictions

With Al and Clancy being based in London, most of our planning took place during Zoom calls to fit in with their busy schedules.

Right from the beginning the couple wanted to have as much of the event as possible outside to enjoy Voewoods’ beautiful gardens. But, with the COVID-19 restrictions they had to have their legal ceremony outside anyway, with their 30 guests seated in bubbles and socially distanced. As it turned out the stretch tent we used for the ceremony provided shade from the scorching September sun, as well as being our plan B for wet weather!

Behind the scenes I developed mood boards, marquee designs, planned timelines, deliveries, collecting hired items and logistics for the day including scheduling for the days before and after the wedding.

Photography by Charlie Campney 

With the radical reduction in guest numbers we forwent the main marquee and instead opted to use the hall inside Voewood for the wedding breakfast. Floorplans were re-visited given the change of space and to take into account social distancing – this was extra challenging given the changeable COVID-19 restrictions!

We changed decor plans to reflect the use of the hall and the smaller guest numbers but the majority of changes had to be made to the catering plans. With the new guidelines in place, table service while all guests remained seated was the only way forward, so the original menu design of sharing platters, substantial canapes and only two courses was scrapped.

My prep for the day was hands on – setting up tables with candles, flowers, place names, menus and favours, ensuring the timely arrival of suppliers, arranging display signage, and reserving seating.

After the ceremony I moved chairs and the floral arrangements from the outside ceremony marquee back to the house so the couple got to make the most of them for the rest of their day.

Designing the perfect day

Right from the beginning, the couple had a clear vision for the aesthetic of their wedding. Al and Clancy envisaged exposed wooden tables set out as long banqueting rows, crystal glassware and bright floral arrangements.

Photography by Charlie Campney 

Their stationery was created by a friend to match their save the date cards making an ideal base for the colour theme, which was also a perfect match for the venue complimenting a large neon pink sign hanging in the main hall.

Photography by Charlie Campney 


Personal touches

Photography by Charlie Campney 

This highly bespoke wedding was brought together with a number of small, yet important personal touches, including bespoke stationery, signage, a menu reflecting the couples’ favourite food along with a wine list and gin bar with the couple’s favourite drinks, and Negroni favours!


“Emily has helped us plan, unplan and replan our wedding this year due to the relentless storm that is COVID! It is without question that we would have thought twice about pursuing with our wedding this year if we didn’t have her on-board. From the very first meeting, we knew we’d made an excellent decision to hire Emily – not because we didn’t want to do things ourselves, but because she brought experience to the planning process, drawing our attention to the finer details and logistics that we hadn’t even considered. Her knowledge is invaluable as are her well established connections with all the best suppliers in Norfolk.

When we had to change our plans, Emily took any stress we were feeling away with just one phone call. She was hands on during the day; pinning button holes, ensuring the table was set and supplying tissues when needed, whilst at the same time working in the background to ensure everything ran smoothly. Our wedding day was small but so perfect and would never have happened without Emily.”

  Alistair & Clancy (Bride & Groom) 


Venue: Voewood
Photographer: Charlie Campney
Flowers: Floral Sistas
Stretch marquee: Lunar stretch tents
Catering: Florentina
Hire equipment: Rustic hire, Banqueting Hire, The Little Lending Company

Need more guidance? Contact me for post-pandemic wedding planning in Norfolk

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