Last December I took on a new client based in LA. They had been lucky enough to snap up a cancellation date from the stunning Voewood which enabled them to have their wedding there this summer. Being overseas and having zero local knowledge they decided it would be a sensible option to recruit a local wedding planner - cue me!
Having planned weddings at Voewood previously I completely understood the quirks of this eclectic venue and how to a plan a wedding there that would flow seamlessly on the day. My lovely couple had a diverse range of cultures in their backgrounds that they wanted to acknowledge in their wedding. With a fairly specific initial brief I set about recruiting the most suitable local suppliers for their special day. There were three key suppliers we needed to secure as a matter of urgency and with less than 6 months before the wedding day there was no time to lose. The three key areas were the Caterer, Photographer and Florist. As part of my full planning service I also provided Budget management which meant that the recommendations I provided for my clients were the most suitable for their brief and budget. Working with trusted, professional suppliers is so important when it comes to weddings! We managed to shortlist the suppliers and then I arranged two days of back to back meetings where we visited the venue and spoke to these suppliers when my couple had arranged to be back in Norfolk over Christmas. Luckily because the suppliers I recommended knew me and understood we were not time-wasting it was possible to arrange to meet with them over the christmas break which was very fortunate. So after two fun packed days of non-stop wedding talk my couple were able to make their selections ready for me to negotiate contracts and deal with the nitty gritty.
The next major task was to work on the decor for their wedding. My bride had very specific ideas about how she wanted her day to work and with my experience of weddings at Voewood I was able to layer this on top to develop practical, workable ideas. The majority of the decor budget was going to be spent on lighting so that Voewood could be transformed into a nighttime venue, highlighting the stunning features in the garden as well as using funky lighting inside the hall to create atmosphere for the evening's entertainment. Entertainment was another key task and again, armed with a brief and budget requirements I was able to use my contacts to supply some recommendations for my couple to select from. I know my couple found it so useful having me to do the 'wed min,' it saved them loads of time and stress and also allowed them to focus on the fun parts of planning their wedding. They could come up with the ideas and be as creative as they wished - give me the direction - and then I could do some research for them and present back feasible, affordable options - at no point was I dictating to them or making decisions on their behalf. It is so important that a wedding represents the couple and I love being able to work with my clients to ensure their weddings are unique and perfect for them.
The unique part of this wedding was that the couple had arranged to have their legal ceremony in America which meant that they had complete freedom to create their own ceremony in England. For this the couple had each key member of their family and their closest friends participate in the ceremony, combining readings, anecdotes, a sand ceremony, a time capsule and even their furry friend became their ring bearer for the day! A first for me was a Korean wedding ceremony, which we planned into the day. Rich with symbolism and tradition it was important for the bride's family that this was incorporated into their day as a reference to their heritage.
Another way the couple were able to personalise their day was with their food. Their bespoke menu from Florentina was sublime, using some of the finest ingredients Norfolk has to offer, including Cromer crab, Sandringham Beef and Lowesoft mackerel. It looked delicious and tasted delicious! Below are some pictures from our tasting. We also had the finest Norfolk ice-cream from Ronaldo's, American Smores, a hand-built donut wall ( with nearly 200 donuts from Krispy Kreme, this was such a popular feature!), a cheese board of local cheeses and chutneys and even personalised cocktails.
Opting not to have a traditional wedding cake, the couple DIY'd a wedding cake Pinata which was great fun, especially for the children, who enjoyed picking up all the chocolate treats once it was smashed open.
I was also commissioned to help make the wedding day into a weekend long celebration as my couple had use of Voewood for 4 days. I was able to help them with travel and accommodation arrangements for their guests, plan a weekend menu of food, which included the arrival of a Traditional Fish and Chip van and a Bloody Mary bar for the survivor's brunch on the Sunday, children's entertainment, garden games, a pub quiz and various other events so that they could really make the most of having all their friends and family together to celebrate.
Images from Andy Davison and Your Norfolk Wedding.