Real Weddings Supplier Spotlight

Elms Barn Wedding // Nabil + James

by:   on: 20th April 2018
Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Nabil and James met on an online dating site, the couple eventually met at Zaks Mousehold Diner in Norwich followed by an afternoon playing pool in a pub ( James won!). Three and a half years later, they are now a married couple and both have an obsession with birds of the ornithological variety, and love nature. Read on to find out all about their big day in their own words.

 

Before The Big Day 

We started planning the wedding a year and a bit in advance. We really enjoyed working with Victoria and Teena at Elms Barn, who set us at ease and made us feel welcome.

The amazing advantage of Elms Barn is the combination of bespoke options, alongside full management and coordination of the entire day.

We’d looked at two other venues, but they didn’t sway us either way. Having visited Elms Barn we knew it was perfect for us. We loved working with our photographer, James Rouse. This man is on top of his game, and will deliver pure magic come rain or shine. His attitude and sense of humour are impeccable.

Did you have a theme?

Our theme can best be described as autumnal, strongly linked to nature and the countryside. It was refined rather than rustic. The colour palette and flowers were put to best use here. They set the scene, and the rest followed. Clothing was chosen to compliment, but not too formulaically. The silver-green sequined Jenny Packham bridesmaids dresses sparkled, adding a touch of glamour. The bridesmaids were my sister Zeina, James’ sister Laura, and James’ best friend Sarah. My best woman, Stacey, wore a floaty fern green sleeveless chiffon maxi dress with sequined lace collar and shoulders.

Our choice of music echoed the theme, featuring the amazing 20th Century British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose evocative music transports you to fen, broad, meadow and field. Finally, the place settings and table names were all ornithological, including birds of prey, sea birds, ducks and waders, and tits, amongst others. The setting of Elms Barn in the gorgeous Waveney valley countryside, with its beautiful gardens, waterways and natural surroundings, couldn’t have been any more fitting.

Did you have any Wedding planning Woes?

James’ best man was his identical twin brother, Adrian. Physically, they are absolute doppelgangers apart from James having a small scar under his left eye.

There was tangible fear from some that I may confuse the two of them at critical moments during the wedding day, and perhaps kiss Adrian by mistake. Ludicrous. Although, had I done this, it would have been particularly awkward, because Adrian is straight!

 

Share your best wedding planning tips

Don’t leave it until the last minute, but be cautious to get started too early too as you may well lose the momentum. It’s natural to feel some stress and worry considering the importance of the event that you are planning, but help each other, and speak to those who can help you compartmentalise and scale the task at hand. You and your partner may not see perfectly eye to eye, so a bit of compromise is a must. Ask friends and family for help and advice, but don’t feel like you have to do what others want. It’s your day, and it should make the two of you happy first and foremost.

Work together, and figure out who should take the natural lead for various different tasks. One of you will likely be better at flower designs, and one of you will likely be better at managing the budget. Set a budget, and then keep in mind that the amount you actually spend may be double that!

 

Keep an open mind, don’t feel scared to tear up the rule book, and most importantly of all, have fun.

Your Wedding Day

We woke to an amazingly generous and tasty cooked breakfast buffet in Stackyard Lodge, Elms Barn’s dedicated bed and breakfast accommodation. I then took a short walk down beautiful Waveney country lanes with my parents and brother to get some fresh air, and James had a face mask to relax. We then got ready, and the guests started to arrive. Buttonholes and bouquets arrived at just the right time.

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

 

My grooms party and I walked to the barn, where we made final arrangements with the fantastic registrar, Malcolm. When 1pm approached, the bridesmaids, page boy and flower girl were taken to the barn in style using the vintage Bentley. James and his mother then followed their lead in the same car. We waited anxiously while some guests were still arriving. My grooms party, including my best woman, was waiting for me at the front.

When everyone was seated, and the clock hit the hour, Fantasia on Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams started to play from the variation. Around a minute later, the main theme arrived and the bridal party started their walk down the aisle. Zeina and Isla went first. Isla was our gorgeous flower girl, and she is also my niece. Sarah then followed. Then came Laura with Brady. Brady was our handsome page boy, and he is also James’ nephew. Second to last came James’ mother, Dawn. And then finally me and my James. When we got to the front, we waited for the Fantasia to come to its gentle conclusion, and exchanged nervous but happy glances with each other, and our nearest and dearest.

 

Malcolm, the registrar took over from there. He masterfully commanded the proceedings, injecting humour, warmth and energy in everything he said. The ringbearers were the best woman and best man. Zeina and Adrian both gave readings: hers was Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, and his was Ship by Carol Ann Duffy. The vows, ring words, and other declarations were touching. When we were announced husband and husband, we kissed, and were presented as the happy couple. At the end of the ceremony, we walked out to rousing cheers and applause.

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Entering the marquee, we got tucked into canapés and winter Pimm’s. Everyone then lined up outside on the green creating a path for us to walk down and be showered with confetti. Following this, we did a group shot of the entire day guests, followed by the formal group photos near the pond and decking. Afterwards, James and I were whisked off to have a private couple only shoot in the gardens, near the waterway, and on the bridge.

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Time flew that day, as it was suddenly time for the receiving line. With our mums, we greeted our family and friends, who congratulated us warmly.  The music in the marquee and barn that day featured some of our favourite composers, including Satie, Holst, Fauré, and Prokofiev.

It really was a perfect day. It couldn’t have been any better.

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

Real Wedding: Nabil + James. Elms Barn Wedding Venue. Photo By James Rouse

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Featured Suppliers

  • VENUE:: Elms Barn
  • CAKE: Little Millie's
  • ENTERTAINMENT: Nick Moore Disco
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: James Rouse
  • HAIR: Beccy Brown
  • GROOMSWEAR: Moss Bros

about the author

Dalia Courridge

Founder and managing director of Norfolk Brides. Obsessed with all things creative and beautiful - form eclectic weddings, to stunning interiors and abstract art. Addicted to working out and weightlifting. Cannot start the day without a strong coffee.

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