Elms Barn is possibly one of my favourite wedding venues on the Norfolk / Suffolk border and I am not at all surprised that Sarah & Adam fell in love with this stunning location the moment they arrived for the viewing. Exceptionally manicured typical english country rose garden, romantic barn setting and two beautiful young people planning the biggest day of their lives. This blog will reveal brides musings, thoughts along with the advice & tips about planning your wedding. Read on for details and view the wedding gallery from this beautiful country wedding.
The Couple & The Proposal
Sarah and Adam were destined to be together having met while at high school and been together ever since.
Buying a house in March 2013 was a big step for the coupe and they looked forward to their first Christmas in their new home. That Christmas morning was a special one for Sarah and Adam – he had popped the question and Sarah said ‘YES’.
“Once we finished opening the presents in the morning, I went and made a cup of tea. At this point Adam kept going outside and was very fidgety. When I came back with the teas and sat down in the lounge Adam then said that he had one last, a very special gift fir me. He then got down on one knee and popped the question! Of course the answer was yes and Adam then slid a white gold diamond solitaire ring on my finger”.
It certainly was a very special morning for the newly engaged couple and when they got married they had been together for 10 years.
The Wedding Planning
With their very recent and exciting engagement, the couple couldn’t wait to start planning their big day and went to view their first choice for a wedding venue at Elms Barn in January.
As soon as they drove up the lane to the Barns they knew that they had fallen in love with the place. The wedding venue viewing had confirmed their initial thoughts – it was all they had wanted and more and it was a perfect for their wedding.
They left Elms Barns with a massive WOW, but the savvy couple knew they should check out some other wedding venues in Norfolk. They viewed a few other places over the next few months but nothing lived up to the amazing Elms Barn. Decision was made to go back in May with both sets of parents and met with the Elms Barns owner Richard, who then talked through what newly engaged couple could do and have for their wedding at the venue.
Both sets of parents also loved the Elms and therefore the wedding was booked for 29th October 2014. With nearly 18 months to plan a wedding it was absolutely perfect.
There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding that it can be tricky to decide where to start. Sarah and Adam were no exception. With 18 months to plan their perfect wedding they knew they had plenty of time to get everything sorted with plenty of time.
The first booking was made for wedding invitations a whole year in advance – they were done and dusted. Followed by visit to a wedding fair where Sarah found Vanilla Patisserie and their exceptional wedding cakes. Then over the following months followed the wedding photographer, registrar and wedding dresses along with the bridesmaid dressed & groomsmen attire. Even the so much dreaded by many – table plan was a piece of cake for Sarah. She sat down, did it all by herself, ran it by her husband-to-be and it was all done. Now this is a no -nonsense wedding planning we like!
There wasn’t a set theme, but there were some vintage elements to the wedding and with blue bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s suits, the couple opted for a creamy and dusky pink floral arrangements.
A donation was made to Cancer Research a charity close to both their family’s hearts. Each guest received a Cancer Research Pin on a little card stating a donation has been made on their behalf by Adam and Sarah as their wedding favor. It was a personal touch with a meaning to the couple and something they felt most of the guests could relate in some way.
Sarah & Adam also had a special lantern with three candles lit inside with a message beside it saying that these candles are lit in memory of those watching from above and who weren’t with then to share their special day.
On Sarah’s bouquet she had a small pendant tied in it with a photo of her two Nannies and a small heart with the inscription engraved on it “Forever In My Heart“, they were with Sarah while she walked down the aisle, and she felt that this way she could share her wedding day with those to special ladies in her life.
The Wedding Dress
Sarah and her Mum started viewing dresses quite early; (well this was going to be a once in a life time event so they had to make the most of it!) her first appointment was in a shop called Catrinas Bridal in Gorleston. They arrived to be greeted by such lovely people. Sarah knew she didn’t want the normal strapless bodice dress what most brides have, Catrina herself was looking after them and made the whole experience so special. Sarah picked about 7 dresses to try on all different shapes and styles. At first every dress she tried on Sarah and Mum both loved! They knew this was going to be a hard job picking that perfect dress. By the end of the visit Sarah had narrowed it down to 3 dresses that she really loved, there were 2 in particular she couldn’t get out of her mind. They came away from the shop with such high expectations and knew what they had seen that day was going to be hard to beat. The whole experience had been wonderful, made extra special by the kind caring service Catrina had given.
Over the next few months Sarah went to other dress shops and tried different dresses on, but she couldn’t get the 2 dresses that she had fallen in love with at Catrinas out of her head. All in all Sarah thinks she had another 5 visits to Catrinas trying the 2 dresses on over and over again trying to make her mind up about which one she would have. In the end Sarah went with a Mori Lee dress which happened to be the very first dress she tried on!!
Sarah’s bridal look was finished off with a plain mid length Ivory Veil and a Tiara of crystals and pearls in her hair and her shoes were a bargain in the Debenhams Sale ( we love a good quality sale too!)
Wedding Planning tips
Sarah and Adam would advise the couples to enjoy every single bit of your planning and don’t let it stress you out, research lots on the internet you can get some good ideas. It’s your day so do and have what you want, try not to let family and friends take over and tell you what to do. You will never keep everyone happy, so be tough. Its meant to be an enjoyable experience, the day comes and goes in a blink of an eye, so relax and enjoy it.
The Wedding Day
The couple and some of the bridal party stayed at the wedding venue the night before the wedding to make sure that everything is ready and on hand (it was!).
Sarah received a gorgeous surprise form her husband-to be just hours before they got married, delivered by one of the groomsmen, on a vintage bike with gorgeous bouquet if flowers and wrapped in a blue bow. It was a stunning Mulberry handbag – a thoughtful wedding gift by Adam.
Sarah also had a surprise for Adam – a stunning rose gold Burberry watch.
Following the breakfast and sweet surprises the wedding preparations begun. The makeup artist was the first to arrive followed by the hairdresser, each bridesmaid took it in turns to be pampered, followed by the mother of the bride and then finally Sarah. It was a very relaxed morning with several bottles of bubbly being opened and drunk.
The boys also had a whale of a time preparing and getting ready for the celebrations later in the day. After a few final brief checks, the bride was whisked to the barn with her father in the stunning Bentley.
Each bridesmaid walked in separately before Sarah and her Dad, they all walked down the aisle to Canon in D Major. The ceremony lasted about 30 minutes, followed by Sarah’s Mum reading and the harpist performing while the register was signed and photos taken. After the ceremony guests were greeted with glasses of Pimms in the marquee, as the weather was dry photos then taken outside.
Speecehes were fabulous and gifts were given to the parents and bridemaids as tahnk you for their support on a such a special day in Sarah & Adam’s lives.
‘The Someones’ got the guests dancing, while others enjoyed a visit to chocolate fountain or picked up the Burgers and Hotdogs for dinner. The newlyweds then took to the dance floor at about 8.30 for their first dance which was to ‘Bob Marley, Is this love’ .
The midnight saw the end to their amazing day and their carriage was waiting to return them to the Bridal suite at the lodge.
It was, indeed a gorgeous wedding in a stunning location and we are delighted that the newlyweds allowed us to share their interview and their story with Norfolk Brides and our readers. There is a beautiful wedding image slideshow created by Mark Ewels ( the official couples wedding photographer) and I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as we did!