Planning a Spring Wedding Weekend at Voewood, Norfolk.
At the tail end of last year I began working with a lovely couple from London who had their hearts set on hosting their wedding day at Voewood. Voewood is a stunning dry hire venue in Norfolk. With bags of personality and accommodation for 40 something guests, it is perfect for creating a weekend long wedding celebration. Being a dry hire venue (and a listed property at that), every single element of the wedding needs considering and planning perfectly. Luckily I have planned many weddings at Voewood so I know how this venue works and what its little foibles are. It is so unique and every wedding there is different, it is always a joy to work there.
By a complete fluke there were two free dates that came up for this year but my clients were really worried about planning their entire wedding from scratch in just a matter of 5 months! So the challenge was set and we began work in earnest. It was quite clear from the outset the style of wedding my clients wanted so it took no time at all for me to hone down their ideas and aspirations into an action plan and mood board for us to work from. We set a budget and began prioritising the first things first, we needed to secure some of the major suppliers as with only a few months to go there was every possibility their first choices wouldn’t be available.
The planning all went to plan (bar a few hiccups which were easily dealt with!), I even succeeded in freeing up some of their budget with some clever sourcing and negotiating so my couple could splash some budget on some extra treats for their guests, and everything was planned and prepared for the big day itself….
The Big Day…..
The sad news was that the weather in the lead up to the wedding and for the wedding itself was wet! This caused some issues for the marquee company as the ground had quickly become water logged so there was lots of water coming up from underneath the ground and soaking into the flooring. Luckily, given the time of year we were not expecting bright sunshine and warm weather so we had plenty of plans in place for every eventuality but this level of cold and damp was far from ideal.
So, I arrived on site when our fabulous hair and make up team were half way through transforming the bridal party into a bevvy of beauties. Hair was by Leanne and make up was by Rebecca. My bride wanted something incredibly natural and elegant as she wasn’t used to wearing lots of make up and felt very conscious about not looking herself on her big day. Both Rebecca and Leanne did an amazing job and hair and make up both stayed in place throughout the wind and rain and late night partying!
For the flowers we selected the colour pallet based on the colours of the bridesmaids dresses. Each of the four bridesmaids was asked to buy their own dress so they had complete freedom to pick a colour and style they felt the most comfortable in. My bride wanted to colours to be bold and bright but given it was a spring wedding we were very much led by the shades which were in season. We chose to work with the fabulous Katy from Bracken and Twine for the flowers who was full of inspiration and completely took the brief on board, adding her own creative interpretation. The end result of the flowers matched the bridesmaids dresses so perfectly and these bold colours transposed into the marquee brilliantly, creating a bold, confident look.
We had two marquees from Grice Foster, one for the ceremony and one for the wedding breakfast, as my clients wanted to invite 200 guests to their wedding which the venue just didn’t have the capacity for. We chose a ceremony marquee with a wide panoramic window which sat on the top meadow looking out onto the stunning architecture of Voewood. To give my couple a focal point for their vows I sourced them a rustic wooden frame hung with contemporary, edison bulb lights, and Katy added some stunning flowers to dress this. For the flowers in the wedding breakfast marquee we kept the eye level high with some suspended floral chandeliers. I styled the marquee with long banqueting style, rustic tables that Katy dressed with small bottles dotted down their lengths. The bottles were a combination of stone bottles and glass bottles from Little Lending co and Lou Lou Loves. For the furniture we followed the rustic theme through both marquees with rustic benches for the ceremony and folding wooden chairs and mahogany wooden tables for the wedding breakfast, these all came from Rustic Hire.
The ‘I do’s’.
The lovely Caroline from The Ceremony People led the celebrant service for my couple with a very symbolic and personal hand fasting that was performed by a friend of the bride and groom’s. Having Caroline lead the ceremony meant my clients had complete flexibility over how they celebrated their marriage and how the ceremony would run. Having already done the legal part at a small family only ceremony a few days earlier, having a celebrant meant they could host their 200 guests for this celebration. There was music from the groom’s sister which had the whole congregation joining in with an acoustic version of S Club 7’s ” Reach for the Stars”!
On the subject of music we had a fabulous seven piece brass band who played as the guests all arrived at Voewood, then led them up to the meadow for the ceremony, they then led them back to the main house for the reception drinks and canapes. Despite the wet weather, this really brought a smile to everyone’s faces and created a really fun atmosphere. For the evening music there was a four piece band who played some great dance floor fillers to get everyone up and dancing.
Food Glorious Food!
One of THE most important aspects of the day for my clients was the food they were going to serve their guests. Being foodies themselves that had a very clear vision of providing their guests with an amazing menu full of freshly prepared local dishes. The menu was created by the fabulous Florentina. The canapes were a secretion of British picnic snacks with a twist such as soft boiled rare breed scotch eggs, Bray’s award winning pork pie, Trio of Norfolk cheese scones with whipped goat’s cheese and onion jam. The Starter was a table picnic making the most of local seafood: Smoked Norfolk Mackerel pate, Beetroot and Gin cured Salmon, Gremolata King Prawns with chipotle aioli and Cromer crab tian, Scandinavian slaw, Elveden beetroot sour dough bread rolls. The main was Roasted leg of Norfolk Lamb with buttered green vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and Chimichurri salsa.
Dessert was served after speeches to give everyone a chance to digest their fabulous meal and make space for a selection of sweet treats. These were served back in the main house with teas and coffees. The desserts were a selection of macaroons, mini lemon meringue pies, chocolate, salted caramel and honeycomb brownies and bite sized summer fruit meringues. These were all displayed on a new rustic, wooden tiered display from CMA. These displays took up pretty much the whole dining room, which became a dessert room, and really went down a storm!
As a twist on the ‘norm,’ we had confetti in the dark which was not the original plan but it worked really well.
In the evening we had a whisky bar with a special selection of whiskies chosen specifically by the groom. There was an open bar with kegs of local ales and various spirits and wines served from a Rustic Hire dry bar which was made up of antique crates from the old Norwich brewer Bullards. To keep the revellers well fuelled a selection of artisan cheeses and port were laid out later in the evening for guests to snack on.
The Wedding Day Team.
The whole day ran really well and I was able to work behind the scenes ensuring that any snags were quickly dealt with and didn’t impact on any of the suppliers or significantly on the schedule. The assistance of the brilliantly talented Safe and Sound team who provided outstanding childcare on the day, must also be mentioned, they kept a bunch of varying aged children completely occupied for a number of hours, allowing their parents to eat their meals in peace! They also stepped in very last minute which I am incredibly grateful for. Emotive provided all our sound equipment and were exceedingly helpful from start to finish. The final acknowledgement must go to the unbelievably talented Megan Duffield who worked her socks off on the wedding day in the cold and wet to deliver the stunning array of photographs above. I know my clients were completely blown away by all the suppliers we used to bring their wedding vision into reality and they had the best day so a massive thank you to each and everyone of you for your professionalism and contribution.
All images by Megan Duffield Photography.