Good morning, how is it a Friday already? I cannot quite believe how quickly this summer has flown by – we are already in August!
Today’s #realweddingfraiday couple is Eileen and Mick who got hitched at the beautiful church in East Lexham and danced the night away at the Hanse House in King’s Lynn. I love this wedding because it had such an emotion and special meaning to Eileen and Mick. I will confess, I did shed a few tears as I was preparing it for the blog.
Read their beautiful story in Eileen’s own words an make sure you check out something very exciting from the Esther Wild ( photographer who captured this wedding!) at the end of this post!
We met over 12 years ago on a night out in Norwich… Mick had asked a mutual friend for my number and asked if I had my dancing shoes ready for the weekend! We are both so happy we took a chance and followed our hearts.
We had not really planned to marry, however, perhaps some persuasive powers of divine intervention had other ideas. My son Sam passed away in June 2016; he and Mick had a fantastic relationship.
When we were on a weekend away in Lincoln to see Jess Glynn a few months later (my final birthday gift from Sam before he passed away), we were walking to the Cathedral to light a candle and we passed a beautiful jewellers called Daniella Draper. To my surprise Mick tuned back and took me into the jewellery shop! There were only a few engagement rings, which Mick found himself looking at. The assistant Allison took the most beautiful ring, from the Cinderella range and said that if it fits, it’s meant to be… it fitted perfectly and felt wonderful. But as I said we had no intention of getting married. ( Although that’s not to say I hadn’t mentioned it quite a lot and my cousin Sally, who was forever sending helpful messages to Mick, when her local jeweller had a sale!).
As we left the shop, at that very moment, Jess Glynn played over the radio and we both felt we had lived through something very extraordinary! Unbeknown to me Mick ran back to the shop later that day and bought the ring! I spoke of it so much, but Mick waited for the perfect moment to propose. We stayed at the Crown Hotel at Wells Next The Sea, and on that crisp evening of the 26th December in the copper bath beneath the stars, Mick got down on one knee and proposed. It was THE Danielle Draper Cinderella ring! I, of course, said ‘YES‘!
We set to planning our wedding straight away and set 5th August as our wedding date. We were delighted that we were able to be married in a beautiful, small Saxon round tower church in East Lexham, set in a farmyard, by Cannon Reverend Heather Butcher. Finding a reception venue proved far more tricky! Luckily we came across Rathskeller Wine Bar and Bistro, with their Hanse House venue rooms. We called in on the off chance, en route to a wedding fair in King’s Lynn. Shawna showed us all the possible rooms we could hire, nothing was too much trouble and the suggested wedding packages were imaginative and realistically priced.
As we left the venue, we saw a picture of a peace sign in the bar, which was the sign we needed to be certain; Sam had a tattoo of a peace sign!
We heard on the same day that our chosen band, Harley Street were able to play. A month after our engagement the main things were booked!
For our wedding invitations, we enlisted the creative talent of my son Rob. He put together a beautiful design with our ring finger ink prints together to form a heart in the trunk of a tree and included 3 birds in Rob’s signature graphic style. We used Printed.com were brilliant at advising around card, envelopes and the quality was excellent at very reasonable prices.
We had wonderful support from friends and family and my goddaughter suggested we visit Camilla Brides to find THE dress. What a wonderful experience it was. The gowns are handmade and mine was designed to set off the necklace of Qatari pearls a precious gift from Sam. Every fitting was exciting, seeing the dress evolve with family and friends and always made so genuinely welcome. I was excited to know that the dress would transform from the more classic formal day look, into an evening party dress of pearls and sparkle! They ensured every detail was perfect, even including a little silk pocket for a picture of my late son and dad.
House of Fraser came up trumps with bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride outfit from Hobbs. Monsoon had the perfect flower girl dress. One very successful shop with my bridesmaids, which was a blessing as Poppy had one day only in the UK and would then be in Australia until the week of our wedding. The men hired their suits from Pure, with our groomsman heading in from Singapore and the Lake District fittings were staggered and some rather last minute.
One last piece to the wedding organising puzzle was to find our wedding photographer to capture our day. Mick struck gold when he found Esther Wild, who by chance was located locally to our venue and had a photography style that caught his eye.
We were thrilled with every aspect of Esther’s photography and her ability to feel the emotions and capture special moments. Such a truly genuine and modest professional with immeasurable talent and the kindest heart.
Did you have a wedding theme?
Our theme was (not to anyone’s surprise really!) ‘Gin’! I have been known to enjoy a gin and Mick and I are both taste testers for Black Shuck gin, who launched their ‘Blush’gin on our wedding day!
The tables were each named after a different gin, our top table was ‘Bathtub’ after the proposal setting! Rowena, (Mick’s mum who doesn’t drink!) enjoyed making friends with all the local barmen in the lakes collecting gin bottles, to add to our own collection. We enjoyed making our ‘Pavey’s Raspberry Gin’ for wedding favours, using Black Shuck gin as our base and locally picked raspberries. For our bridal party gifts, we had gin bottles slumped by Mick’s mums friend, Cathy, in the lakes. These were carefully transported south and then engraved with our personalised design from our invitations, by Personalised Images Ltd Mildenhall. Our colour theme was a gentle champagne, with some sparkle and pearl keeping a slightly rustic edge to the gallery room with natural linen chair ties and a little more glitz in the more elegant ‘Blue Room’.
Sarah Coxin created the most beautiful fragrant bouquets brimming with roses, freesias, Gyp and eucalyptus; rose buttonholes; pretty corsages- and provided top quality flowers for the venue.
Our wedding cake was both stunning and delicious (and even included a gin and lemon tier!). It was made by my cousin Sally, who has teased us for years about getting married, couldn’t have been more delighted to help and plan our wedding. She was rather surprised at first when we asked for a dragon and monkey cake topper. Her creations were amazing and I loved my glittery wings!
In the Chinese zodiac Mickey is a monkey and I’m a Dragon and it is said that we are the most compatible and are meant to marry later in life.
Rathskeller gave us access to the venue so we could prepare the day before. It was all hands to the deck! It’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to prepare a church and reception venue. Very dear friends and family, guided by my dear friend Lesley, who has a floristry background, did a wonderful job with flowers, heaps of greenery, fairy lights and candles. Unfortunately Mick was unwell the day before the wedding so everything decoration wise was a surprise on the day! Thankfully, our friend Neil, who is a surgeon, managed to get Mick’s health just about back on track and I’m told that as I walked up the aisle his colour recovered from rather grey! I fear it may have been the worry of the speech writing, and although neither my husband or son are ones for being in the limelight, the speeches were so beautiful – Rob even wrote us a poem.
Your Wedding Day
For us girls, the wedding morning was remarkably relaxed and jolly, with Roxanne thoughtfully bringing us matching robes and slippers including a tiny one for Ella – May who was our flower girl. Anna came to our house to do all our hair and ended up helping us out doing much more to save the day! We had arranged transport for us all to the church, but completely overlooked the significant amount of luggage we also had to take! Anna, who is not only mine and Mick’s hairdresser, but a great friend too, didn’t hesitate to load her car and head to the church to offload – she did, however, have trouble finding her way home from our church in deepest rural Norfolk!
For the boys and Sally at The Old Rectory B&B it was all about trying to make Mick well! The facts around how poorly Mick was on our wedding morning, were a closely guarded secret from me until a couple of months after the wedding! My beautiful bridesmaids didn’t let me worry, although they were very aware of the situation.
The church was intimate and the ceremony so personal. Rob, my son walked me down the aisle. I had been so emotional in the rehearsal, but on the day just felt sheer joy. Ethan, our nephew & page boy lives in Singapore, and although only 7years old, delivered a surprise reading from the pulpit telling everyone about his uncle Mickey Monkey and his Dragon Bride. It was so special. Our friend Laura sung to her gentle guitar chords while we signed the register and surprised Mick with an Oasis tune, as well as ‘Wonderful World’.
It was lovely to know I had my dad and Sam tucked close to my heart, their photo’s on a vintage handkerchief ‘something old’ from my dear friend Debby.
The sunshine we arrived in had turned into a torrential downpour as we came out of church, but Esther captured some fabulous ‘brolly’ shots! As we assembled in the blue room at Rathskeller for Black Shuck Gin Genie cocktails and delicious canapés, the rain cleared and in the sunny courtyard, the pretty rose petal confetti we had dried, was thrown. My mum watched down on us looking so elegant at 93. Esther captured our guests all waving up, as mum smiled down from the Blue Room. She felt she was given strength to enjoy our day from begining to the very end!
Esther was stealth with her photography and occasionally took us off for a few pictures by the quay, or the cobbled lanes. It was lovely having these little quiet times, just the two of us (and Esther!).
Everything seemed to flow, with a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
As our evening guests arrived, the Harley Street Band struck up for our first dance. We were then whisked away by Esther to catch the beautiful sunset over the water…
For us all, through the toughest year ever, we found total love and joy. It felt as if Sam was with us all the way, guiding, with two butterfly’s even photobombing Esther’s camera lens. We had his smiling portrait, the peace sign & sunflowers in Sam’s memory, but most of all he was so utterly present in all our hearts.
And now, as promissed – here is a very exciting offer from Esther Wild Photographer for couples planning their 2019 spring wedding !
Click the image for more details.