When James (nicknamed Joel) and Aimee decided to get married, the venue was an easy choice – James owns Godwick Hall! The couple worked hard to put their stamp on the wedding day, with a rustic, country style theme that featured lots of autumnal colours, rosemary and red berries, a trestle banquet, and even a vintage tractor ride to the Godwick’s ruins for some romantic pictures.
As previously featured in the 3rd issue of Norfolk Brides Magazine – you can now read their full story.
He worked up an elaborate plan to pop the question at Brancaster beach one windswept Saturday in November. I met Joel (that’s James’s nickname) at the beach after he had played golf. We went for a walk and when we were far away from everyone else, he said: “I want us to play a game where we both write in the sand what we really love about each other. I’m going to video it so we can keep it forever.”
We stood back-to-back and wrote our words out. When I finished, he said: “right ok… do you want to read mine first,” and then I saw it written in the sand “Will you marry me?”
He was down on one knee and I started to cry and said yes!! It was lovely, so romantic and just a bit mad, just like Joel!
The Wedding Planning
We didn’t start until the New Year and the date for our wedding was really dictated by James’s business, which is Godwick Great Barn. We wanted to have the last wedding of the main season at Godwick and then be able to go on honeymoon and not have to worry about anybody else’s wedding while we were away.
We knew we would have 10 months and with James working in the business he had all the contacts and experience, so we felt it was plenty of time as long as we could get the suppliers we wanted. We really enjoyed developing our theme and trying to make everything flow from that. The key was to develop a consistent theme that ran through the whole day, including our stationary, clothing and flowers. We worked really hard to get this right and so did our wedding stationary designers Wonderful Wonky Weddings and our florist Bramble & Berry.
What Was your wedding theme?
Rustic, country style was the look we were after with lots of autumnal colours – tweeds and browns and blues for the men and dark reds and blues for the ladies.
We had 15 large rustic trestles built for the wedding as we really wanted a large banquet, rather than round tables and linen, as it felt more appropriate for a big barn wedding. The tables looked great with a foliage runner, log slices for sharing platters, wine tumblers and tea lights dotted along them. Everyone described it as magical with the fairy lights twinkling above – it did look and feel that way.
Rosemary and red berries were a theme that ran throughout all our stationary, table place settings, and foliage table runners. Our stationary was designed by Wonderful Wonky Weddings. We crafted the words for the invites and the order of the day and they turned it into the style we were after. We wanted to write the words as it’s a very personal part of the day, but we also wanted to make it clear that the day would be informal, relaxed but importantly fun, with lots of good food and drinking and celebrating in a big barn!
We had a lot of help from Penny from theLittle Lending Company, who was also our Godwick event manager and wedding planner. She has a fantastic eye for detail and is brilliant when it comes to adding those great styling and finishing touches. She wrote all our signs for the day including the DIY photo booth, order of the day and the drinks stations in the Giant Tipi as well, which all helped the look come together.
Wedding Planning Tips
Really think hard about the flow of the day and ensure that everything runs at a nice relaxed pace from start to finish for you and your guests. People want time to enjoy themselves at a wedding, but not too much time doing nothing that they get bored and restless. Planning a wedding is a big event and so it is really important to be super organised, but also take advice from those who work these events all the time about what will and won’t work for the you and your guests.
We plan a lot of weddings at Godwick and we really try and help and guide our couples to ensure the day works for them and what they are trying to achieve but also for their guests too. For example if you’re holding the ceremony and reception in the same venue, do you really want a three hour gap between the ceremony and the food. Even with the best entertainment your guests will be getting restless and/or very drunk. Neither are a good idea!
The Wedding Day
We had our ceremony at 3pm, which was about as late as we could leave it given the light in late October. The ceremony was followed by Gin, fizz and nibbles in a Giant Tipi, supplied by our great friends Matt and Lisa of Magical Tipis, on the lawn outside the barn. We missed a lot of the reception as we were having photos at Godwick’s ruins, but we did get to catch the end of it. We wanted a Gin reception as well as fizz, so we created the Godwick Gin Trap, an old butcher’s bike laden with different craft Gins, tonic, juniper berries, lime and cucumber. It went down a storm!
We had a long reception drink, so we decided to go for lots of canapes and use them as a starter. Just before six it was bums on seats for speeches, which we did before the meal. Then we got stuck into the food and everyone could let their hair down and relax.
We chose local caterers Julie Abbs Catering because we have worked with them several times over the years and we know and trust them and were totally confident they would deliver what we were after. Informal food to go with the trestle banquet style tables, so lots of mezze and sharing plates and a menu based around Godwick-produced lamb.
Burgers were served later for evening guests and as a beer saver as the night went on! The food was amazing and lots of guests said it was the best they have ever had at a wedding. Julie Abbs definitely did us proud.
At 8pm we cut the cake and welcomed our evening guests and at 9pm we had our first “couple’s shuffle”. We had had some private lessons to choreograph our first dance to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud sung by our band The I Do’s. I’m not sure it was a polished performance, but it was definitely an improvement on my normal style.
After this the party started and went on until the early hours. It was a truly memorable night and day!
What were your favorite moments on the day ?
James: “For me it was the ceremony – I loved watching Aimee walk down the aisle in my own venue looking absolutely amazing. It was such a special moment! And I also loved the encore our brilliant band played for us after all our guests had gone home – a perk of owning the venue!! They are great guys and have played the barn a few times and always rock the place!”
Aimee: “Yes I loved the ceremony too. It was very intimate and romantic and I loved the way everyone sang along to our songs Stand By Me and All you Need Is Love. We had Alton Wahlberg play an acoustic set before the ceremony, music during our ceremony and entertain the guests in the Tipi during the drink’s reception. He was great. I also really enjoyed the vintage tractor ride to Godwick’s ruins to have our photos taken with the bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was great to have some time alone as a couple to let it all soak in.”
A wonderful autumn wedding full of beautiful colours and a whole lot of love, held at Godwick’s Great Barn in Norfolk. See more at http://vintagevideo.co.uk