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Wood Farm Barn and Southwold Beach Wedding // Hayley + James

by:   on: 5th October 2018
Wood Farm & Southwold Wedding Feature of Hayley and James. Norfolk Brides Wedding Blog. Photo by James Powel

Wood Farm & Southwold Wedding Feature of Hayley and James. Norfolk Brides Wedding Blog. Photo by James Powell

Wymondham couple Hayley and James married in Southwold where their seaside-themed day mixed red, white and blue with vintage and nautical.

It began with a Swan Hotel ceremony, followed by drinks at a beach hut and then moved to Wood Farm Barn where the couple, who have a three-year-old daughter, loved arranging a completely DIY event.

Hayley put heart and soul into making decorations, buying gazillions of buttons and shells, and hessian and glitter to create everything from pinwheels to bouquets and bunting.

Sticks of rock as favours and fish and chips added to the cheery feel echoed in the candy-stripes of the bridesmaids’ dresses and James’ tie.

Hayley’s nautical cocktail hat and red sparkly shoes were worn with a LouLou dress short enough for her to dance and paddle.


“The number of times I doubted what we were planning as we encountered many negatives from people BUT I am so so glad we stuck to our guns as it paid off and was absolutely perfect for our personalities!”



From the moment we became engaged we started brainstorming ideas and what we wanted for our day. We knew we wanted something informal,  fun and relaxed, BUT most of all we wanted to do something that was US! It was amazing how things started to snowball from one thing to another. We felt we couldn’t go too crazy with the budget and once we had set about how the day was going to flow we then worked with that – what felt right for us was going for a small, intimate ceremony with family then a huge, earlier wedding celebration where everyone we wanted to share our day with would be present.

James’s grandfather was from Southwold and since the first time James took me there, I was instantly in love with the place. I am always my happiest when we are there, and knew it was the only place we wanted to get married at. We found The Swan Hotel was one of the only places we could get married in Southwold and had a view of the sea which was perfect. We booked our ceremony for there but knew we wanted to have our wedding reception and post-ceremony drinks somewhere else.  We decided to head to the beach because Southwold is one of the most stunning beaches and it is so special for us.

I am on a Norfolk mummy group and pleaded for some wedding venues near Southwold/Beccles way where one lovely lady mentioned Wood Farm Barn. We looked at their site, arranged a viewing and instantly knew it was the one!  It was more than perfect! It was such a gorgeous location but mostly it was a completely DIY wedding venue and a place that allowed us to stamp our personality on it.


I found out very early on that finding decorations to match our early stage theme (we wanted red, white and blue, seasidey, beachy and nautical with a hint of vintage) was going to be very difficult, so that’s when I got Pinteresting like mad. I started making pinwheels in nautical paper galore which would feature as decorations at the venues and then the bouquets. I loved the idea of coloured hessian which I sourced in red and blue so I could make bunting out of it as well as table placemats. I used hessian offcuts for jar decorations and purchased so many buttons, shells and red/white/blue glitter to finish off the pinwheels and the jars!

I made so much for the day myself – I had a little help from my sister Leanne and my friend Regan, but mostly I did it all by myself during any spare moment I had!

I had a love/hate relationship with planning our wedding.

The crafting was hard work at times, and I am the sort of person that when I get an idea in my head, I will not back down until I have completed it! My list was long but it was all so very worth it! The stress even meant I got rather poorly with Quinsy in January, which stalled me getting the invites out as I had this foolish idea of making our own bunting invites! Again, hard work but so very worth it as they looked a little different and bought smiles to our guest’s faces 🙂




It would be easy to say not to sweat the small stuff or try and enjoy the planning, but in reality, this is the biggest day that hopefully, anyone would ever plan! So its hard to not to do what I heard to stay cool, calm and collected under the immense amount of pressure. At times, it can be difficult to not let the negative emotions to take over.

What I would advise is, that however hard and stressful it all feels right now,  it will all be worth it in the end. If you have a vision of what you want then go with it, it’ll all work out perfectly.

The number of times I doubted about our plans as we encountered many negatives comments from people, who were unsure of how our day was going to be, as it wasn’t the traditional wedding day.  BUT I am so so glad we stuck to our guns as to us it has absolutely paid off and was beyond perfect to us and our personalities! And guess what, those unsure people loved the day and how different it was!

If you are DIY- ing your wedding venue, then be organised and give yourself plenty of time to chill the night before – I wish I had thought of that! 


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Featured Suppliers

  • Supplier: Hen & Stag Parties at Adnams Norwich
  • CEREMONY VENUE: The Swan Hotel, Southwold
  • RECEPTION VENUE: Wood Farm Barn
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: James Powell Photography
  • WEDDING DRESS: LouLou Cicely from The Frock Spot, Norwich
  • SHOES: Irregular Choice
  • COCTAIL HAT / BIRDCAGE VEIL: Off with Her Head Millinery
  • GROOMS SUIT: The Vintage Suit Hire Company
  • CAKE: made by Hayleys Sister
  • DESSERT TABLE: Urban Emporium
  • WOODEN CAKE TOPPERS: Lydia Designs
  • VENUE DECOR: Banqueting Hire Service, The Charming Vintage Company, Time For Tea Company

about the author

Dalia Courridge

Founder and managing director of Norfolk Brides. Social Media and Marketing consultant by day. 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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