Real Weddings

The Reading Rooms Wedding // Jodie + Olly

by:   on: 1st March 2018
The Reading Rooms In Alby, Norfolk. Real Autumn Wedding With Lots Of Foliage And Burgundy Bridesmaids Dresses. Norfolk Brides

Photo by Esther Wild Photographer

I hope that you will enjoy the romantic Jodie and Olly’s wedding as much as we did when we first laid our eyes on it. This beautiful wedding has taken place at one of the newest Norfolk wedding venues, The Reading Room Weddings in Alby. It is a lovingly converted chapel with the most stunning exposed beams in secluded location, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I love how Esther Wild Photography managed to capture this celebration in her usual emotive and candid style. Enjoy the frank interview from ( mostly ) Jodie and Olly and immerse yourself in some stunning wedding inspo.

How did you meet?

Jodie: “I met Olly through a mutual friend Shelley on 8th June 2013, she was having drinks at her house before going in to Norwich for a few drinks that evening. I got chatting to Olly about his travelling adventures, he seemed very cool, fun and most of all, his personality intrigued me. We would meet through our mutual friends, who secretly knew we liked each other, and on 22nd June 2013 we had our first kiss dancing in Rocco’s. Olly’s story of how we met is very different.”

Olly: “We were actually introduced in April but Jodie doesn’t remember meeting or speaking to me!! She was clearly blown away {laughs}.

Jodie: “I really don’t remember meeting him before. He obviously wasn’t very impressionable then {laughs}. After meeting Olly in June 2013, we took three months getting to know each other before we made our relationship official and we have been together ever since.”


How did he pop the question?

Olly secretly took the day off work on our 3 year anniversary and arranged for them to take their dog Hank on a walk in Overstrand. Olly packed up a lunch in his backpack and having parked up in Overstrand and walked along the coastal path towards Cromer we stopped half way for our lunch.  On our picturesque beach walk back, Olly happened to choose a spot in the sun for us to sit down and have a drink. Hank was running around like the mad cockapoo he is, and Olly started writing something in the sand.

He started with a section of the letter W, a part of the O, then a line in the A…eventually after connecting all the sections of the letters it read WILL YOU MARRY ME. I couldn’t quite work out what was written as Hank was scraping away at the sand section of sand, quicker than Olly could write it. Whilst I was trying to guess what was written in the sand, Olly knelt down beside me on one knee.

He told me he loved me, how we are made for each other and how happiness is real when we share our time together.

Tell us about the wedding planning

I was doing my masters course whilst Olly proposed and he was always adamant that my studies needed to come first and the wedding would just have to wait if it started interfering with my work. Me being me, I completely ignored it and went head first in to wedding planning. Within two days of our engagement I researching and asking venues for their availability. We were very particular about the kind of venue we wanted, something that suited 70-80 guests during the day but was still intimate and something that had plenty of charted so didn’t need too much decoration. Choosing the colour scheme was easy –  I had to bear in mind the season we wanted to get married and a colour that would suit my six bridesmaids.

We managed to find and book our wedding venue within the first month of being engaged.  We took a bit of a risk,  because it was a brand new venue that was being finished and all we had to use our imagination and  book it by just going on the sketches of the proposed finish. When we first visited the The Reading Rooms, it had no floors, no plaster on the walls and the gardens were pure mud. Luckily the owners had a real vision and it was exactly what we wanted for our wedding. We went with our gut and booked the beautiful converted chapel.

The Reading Room, Alby, this is such a unique venue. We are so glad we found this gem. Jo and Simon are such wonderful owners, they really put us at ease and they worked so hard to make the day flow perfectly.

A lot of people say how stressful planning a wedding is but we enjoyed every second of it. I had jobs and Olly had jobs so it was a real team effort. We took it one step at a time, making every decision together to ensure we agreed on everything.

We wanted to keep it elegant yet simple, the most important thing was not losing sight of what we wanted, a day all about…US! We hoped that as long as we were happy, together and laughing everyone else would be too.


We didn’t ask anyone for help with the planning because it was our day and we were enjoying doing it together. Olly really was amazing with how much interest he had in our big day.

Did you have a theme?

We didn’t really have a theme in mind, more of a colour. We had decided on burgundy, which yes, sounds very 1990s! Once we had decided on burgundy everything else fell in to place. We like being out in our garden and taking Hank for walks so we wanted to bring part of the outdoors in. Olly being Olly also wanted to save money where possible so instead of all the groomsmen having suits, they all wore matching waistcoats and ties.

Tell us about the dress

So, five years ago I was actually engaged to someone else. I had been looking for wedding dresses online and had saved a photo of a dress I loved. I eagerly went dress shopping In February 2012 and tried a few dresses on as I really didn’t know what was going to suit me. That day I tried on a dress and fell in love with it straight away so my grandparents offered to buy it as my wedding gift. It turns out the dress I ordered was the same dress I had saved a photo of! Three months later, I left my fiance at the time because I knew we were just not meant to be together. At this point I could not cancel my dress order, so when it was ready I collected it and stored it in my nanna’s wardrobe, with the hope of maybe selling it another day.

A whole thirteen months after leaving my ex I finally met my prince charming (that is Olly, of course). . When Olly and I were together, he got to meet my Grandad once, but unfortunately my Grandad had a heart attack and died in September 2013. It turns out my Grandad had seen photos of me trying the wedding dress on and had saved them on his laptop. It was a really tough time losing the man who was meant to walk me down the aisle, but Olly was just a perfect gent throughout it all. He would sit with me in the evenings just wiping away my tears, hugging me telling me how everything would be ok and always reminding me of the one time he met my Granddad and how he was such a lovely man.

As time went on and mine and Olly’s relationship grew, I would often raise the subject of marriage. Olly had already known I was previously engaged, but I never felt like it was necessary to tell him about buying an actual dress. I thoughts that he may have ran in the opposite direction!

I eventually told him and how I was in two minds about the dress; one side of me just wanted to sell it because I knew I didn’t buy it for our wedding, the other side of me knew, that my granddad had seen me wearing it and somehow if I was ever to wear it, it would feel like he was there with me on the day.

I’m not sure what reaction I expected from Olly, but he was just so cool about it. He totally understood why I would still want to wear it. I just couldn’t believe this bloke existed, I used to ask myself “Could he be anymore laid back/horizontal?” Plus the other bonus was that I wouldn’t have to pay for another wedding dress.

When I had initially collected the dress I never even looked at it, my nanna checked it over and it went straight in to storage. The moment Olly had proposed I was at my nanna’s trying on the dress. It was still as amazing as I remembered and I am sure, if given the chance, I would have purchased that dress all over again 5 years down the line.

Any wedding planning tips?

Don’t let it stress you out, chose one option and stick to it, don’t keep looking for the next best thing. Don’t ask for people’s opinions because ultimately it is your decision. Make the day about yourselves, not anyone else.

Don’t over spend on non – essentials or allow things to detract from what the day is all about – the two of you and bringing everyone together to enjoy it with you.

Make sure you enjoy your day and forget about the organising of it all, if something goes wrong, it really isn’t the end of the world. Enjoy it!

Your Wedding Day

We have set up the venue ourselves the afternoon before, so the night before the wedding was just to chill out with friends and family. Olly stayed with his family in Norwich and got ready with them in the morning. I stayed in a barn close to the venue so I could spend time with my bridesmaids.

As soon as I woke up I had a letter from Olly. It was really emotional and I cried before I even got out of bed! My hairdresser came to style my hair, while I sat in my pj’s and was passed a glass of bucks fizz. Once I had my hair done, I had another letter from Olly and yes, I cried again! I did my own make-up as I still wanted to look like me. Olly would always remind me that it was me he was marrying and that he wanted me to look like me – not someone covered in so much makeup he wouldn’t recognise them.   My nanna and my auntie Zoe helped me in to my dress. I had a third letter from Olly, and of course I cried, so before I left I needed to touch up my make-up.

My bridesmaids walked ahead of me and my dad walked me down the path in to the venue. I had been calm all morning but the moment I saw everyone turned, looking at me, my legs went to jelly.


I couldn’t believe everyone was staring at me, I felt so awkward. I deliberately didn’t look at anyone long enough because I really didn’t want to cry, as soon as I saw Olly standing at the top of the aisle my nerves went and excitement kicked in. We stood holding hands through the whole ceremony and I could’t help but smile the whole way through. I must of looked like the cheshire cat but I couldn’t help it. I was finally marrying my best friend, someone that I wanted to grow old with and someone who makes me laugh every single day.

When said our vows and were announced Mr and Mrs, it felt amazing. The confetti throw after leaving the venue was good fun, although it went in places that it really shouldn’t of, and someone decided to lob the whole homemade paper cone at us. Turns out my bridesmaid (Beth), her little girl (Lissie) didn’t realise she had to only throw what was inside of the cone, instead letting go of the whole thing {laughs}!

We sneaked away to have some photos taken while our guests had canapés and drinks reception on the lawn. We sat down for our food, which was a variety of dishes that we could choose from. We wanted something different and it got everyone on the tables talking because the food needed to be passed around all helping themselves. The cake was served as dessert, there was chocolate fudge, lemon and carrot flavours to choose from.

Speeches came after our meal. My dad went first and actually he surprised me –  he is usually a man of a very few  words, but he held it together and what he said was lovely, as for other speeches delivered by Olly and his best man.  I felt like I wanted to make a speech also. I know it is not traditional, but who cares about that these days! I mean our first dance was to Hold You by Gyptian! I wanted to personally thank people for being able to join us and share the celebrations with us. I wanted to thank all of my bridesmaids for being amazing friends and always bringing positivity to my life. My nanna was one of my bridesmaids so she got a special thanks too. I even got a few tears from my new husband when I stood and said how I had found my partner in crime.

Once the speeches were over and done with, we had a lovely surprise from my friends daughter Olivia, who turned up to sing a song that she had written personally for Olly and I. It was so emotional and such a beautiful surprise.

The guests then mingled amongst themselves whilst the room was cleared.  Esther whisked us away for some sunset photos.



This woman ( Esther)  is just phenomenal, she really doesn’t realise just how good she is. We are SO SO SO pleased with our photos, Esther has captured every moment just perfectly. We asked for “natural” and that is exactly what we got. I would definitely use Esther for family photos in the future. 

After our first dance the rock and roll band  kept the dance floor full all night. Evening food was served and the drinks flowed until 11.00pm. Even though the venue closed earlier because it was a week day, I really didn’t mind because the whole day had just been so perfect.



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Featured Suppliers

  • PHOTOGRAPHER:: Esther Wild Photographer
  • VENUE:: The Reading Room
  • WEDDING DRESS: Pure Brides
  • WEDDING CAKE: Cupcake & Co
  • WEDDING FLOWERS: The Little Flower Shop
  • CATERING: Back to Your Place Caterers
  • ENTERTAINMENT: Reckless Jivin'
  • VIDEOGRAPHY: Mike Savory Wedding Films
  • WEDDING HAIR: Zoe Marie Cullum

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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