The perfect woodland setting was enough to make Shani and Craig book their wedding in Norfolk at Hush Venues , miles from their home in Hertfordshire. This was a true DIY wedding, with the couple taking their blank canvas and filling it with a light and airy marquee, bunting made by their own hands, picnic blankets, vintage espresso cups full of lemocello and self-catered hamper boxes containing a number of exciting things from a local artisan bakers.
A word of hind-sight wisdom from the couple: buy your bunting, don’t make it!
BEFORE THE BIG DAY
|We started planning 18 months prior to the day as there was lots of planning for us, from hiring the right marquee to stitching up the bunting.
We worked from a blank canvas choosing every aspect of how we wanted the day to look and feel. First thing was to find the right venue, we knew we wanted a wedding outdoors with some woodland and we found the most beautiful setting in Norfolk at Hush Venues. The invites we designed ourselves, we even took a trip to an old paper mill in Hemel Hampstead to find the right card to use. We bought props and extra flower pots etc from an auction and collected numerous honey jars to use as tea light holders. We had lots of help from the family. Craig’s mum did the flowers, Shani’s Father in law played the acoustic guitar for the ceremony, Shani’s father brought the beer from Bradfield brewery in Sheffield, Craig’s Dad organised the morning after BBQ… Bridesmaids and Best Men were on hand to bring out the self-catered food and pour the toasting lemon cello. Everyone helped in one way or another.
THE BIG DAY
It was an early start for the Groom and Best men who were up early to make sure everything was ready. The baked goods were delivered, food prepped and refrigerated. Time to rush off to get changed. They were back just in time to greet the guests as they arrived for the mid day ceremony.
What was a cold, damp, cloudy start to the day turned into one of the nicest days we’d had so far in the year- the clouds parted and the sun beamed down on everyone.
The guests made their way down the short path through the grass, the ferns, the foxgloves and the mighty pine trees to find a clearing where a small wood hut stood before a number of wooden benches. They took their seats and waited anxiously to see the bride. There was a sudden sense of excitement as guest’s caught glimpses of the Shani through the leaves and shrubs. It has then kicked the Father In Law into action with his acoustic guitar as Shani walked down the aisle with her father.
There was a bit of nervous yet exciting energy, some shaky hands and voices, but a few questions later the nerves had settled and Shani and Craig were married!
A good friend Jamie started up the decks and directed some music out onto the grass field where people had laid out blankets, picked up a Frisbee or were greeting each other with conversation. This carried on until food was ready to be served in the Hamper boxes were prepared for the tables containing a number of exciting goodies from a local Artisan Bakers called Pye Baker.
After our picnic inspired wedding breakfast, followed the speeches. Toasted with vintage espresso cups full of lemon cello they were filled with laughs, hugs and tears of Joy. Once the bellies were full and speeches were finished everyone was back out enjoying the sunshine and music.
Soon the evening guests started arriving, grabbing a drink from the icy wheelbarrows joining in with conversation, it started to feel more energetic. The music tempo was increasing; conversations were getting slightly louder, drinks disappearing more quickly; before long everyone was up and around the marquee dancing.
Soon it was time for more food. Some amazing pies had been cooking in the oven for the last hour and the smell was catching everyone’s attention. The gigantic freshly baked pies had gone down a treat with hungry guests who needed more fuel to carry on dancing in to the night.
The music eventually stopped and the last of the guests retired to the bonfire for toasted marshmallows before going to bed in their tent for a night of camping, while others caught a ride to their home or hotel.