If you have ever been in a hot air balloon before you will know just...
Today we are in Norfolk for this quite beautiful wedding, courtesy of regular to the blog Miki Studios. Rachele and Luke were looking for a venue that gave them their dream option of holding their wedding outdoors, yet they didn’t want the normal rustic option of a barn or a tipi, so they were over the moon when they discovered Narborough Hall Gardens. The venue let them hold their wedding outside and then, thanks to the british weather being kind to them, they were also able to hold the reception outside right through to the evenings dancing! A classically beautiful wedding, mixed with the amazing backdrop of these gorgeous gardens.
Rachele and Luke were married on the 30th July 2016 at Narborough Hall Gardens, Norfolk. ‘We knew we wanted something informal and ideally outdoors, but we weren’t totally sold on a barn/tepee-style venue. We both fell in love with Narborough as soon as we visited; the grounds are so beautiful and the house is spectacular, but in a really relaxed and welcoming way (it’s a family home and it feels very loved and lived-in). The planning team were also lovely and really keen to make the day what we wanted, and completely embraced the outdoor idea. We had 110 guests for the full day (no evening guests). Luke proposed in January 2015 but we didn’t start looking at venues until June. Once we’d booked Narborough, we went back to doing nothing for the next few months.’
How they met
We met at a Jiu Jitsu class – I’d decided to do some self-defence classes as a New Year’s resolution, and Luke was the class instructor. We got together in March 2012, so had been together for four and a half years when we got married.
We’d gone to Iceland for a week to celebrate Luke’s thirtieth birthday, and had splurged on a few days in a beautiful hotel a couple of hours from Reykjavik. Luke proposed in our hot tub under the stars.
How did you allocate your budget?
Most of our budget went on the venue, as all of the food and the flowers were done in-house as well. We were also able to stay in the house with our families for the weekend as part of the package.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Our budget was quite flexible so we just went with what we wanted, within reason.
Why did you choose your photographer?
Ash Davenport was recommended to us, and we both loved his online portfolio – he captures so much, and he uses light beautifully. We also liked how he balances natural and styled photos, and his photos of our wedding are a perfect reflection of what we felt on the day. So many of our guests commented on how hardworking yet “invisible” he was during the day, and that’s reflected in the photos.
My dress was Blue by Enzoani, and my shoes were Jimmy Choo.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Luke’s suit was made by Toby Luper at Hemmingway’s of Leeds. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from various places, including Adrianna Papell and Ghost – I’d seen a couple of wedding blogs where the bridesmaids were coordinated but not matching and loved it, so I borrowed the idea.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We didn’t have a theme or colour scheme in mind at all, but it all just grew out of what we liked and ended up being a classic English country garden wedding.
I’d really hoped for peonies – my favourite flower – but sadly it was too late in the season. Narborough put together some beautiful bouquets from their garden using roses, sweet peas and lisianthus. We also had rose petals and leaves from the gardens as confetti.
We didn’t have much in the way of decoration as it was more or less all outside and the venue spoke for itself. The dinner table was covered in flowers, which we used as the seating plan, and Narborough used their lovely vintage crockery. Other than that, the house and gardens were enough on their own.
We opted for Narborough’s Norfolk & Breckland menu, which is all locally sourced: a starter of breads, cheeses and chutneys, followed by beef fillet (or aubergine charlotte) with dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables, and a lavender cream pot with honey ice cream and meringue to finish. We also had platters of cheeses, pork pies and other nibbles later in the evening.
The wedding cake was made by Michelle at Vanilla Patisserie, and it was amazing! We loved the naked cake look, and each of the four tiers was a different flavour: banoffee at the bottom, then Eton mess, gin & tonic, and passionfruit at the top. She also made mini cakes for guests with allergies, which we really appreciated.
We had a ceilidh after dinner led by Beatroot, who were absolutely brilliant. They were also kind enough to learn the music for our first dance (You Do Something To Me by the Kinks), which was a lovely personal touch.
The wedding invitations and thank-you cards were designed by our friend Kate Broughton – we went to her with an idea of what we wanted, and she brought it to life.
Luke lovingly wrote all of the place cards and the seating plan by hand, and we hung some photos of us through the years with our families and friends on ribbons near the guest book. In addition, my brother-in-law Marc played Blackbird by the Beatles on the guitar for us as I walked down the aisle, which was very special.
Special Moments or Highlights
Both of us felt that seeing each other for the first time as I came down the aisle was very special, and doing the legal bits inside with just our families was a lovely private moment too. Sitting down to dinner with all our friends and family, in the late afternoon sun, with Ella Fitzgerald singing Summertime in the background, was just beautiful. All the speeches (we had quite a few!) were really heartfelt and sweet.
Advice for Other Couples
Enjoy it! It’s easy to get bogged down in the details or fall into the Pinterest black hole, but it’s your day and ultimately it should be what you want it to be. I’d also recommend advance planning; as two procrastinators, we left a lot of the details to the last month or so, which made the run-up more stressful than it needed to be.
Even with all our planning (albeit some of it a bit last minute), neither of us expected the day to be as perfect as it was. There were several occasions – like seeing the stupendous cake for the first time – when we looked at each other in disbelief that this really was our wedding. We certainly never thought we’d be featured on a blog!
I am based in Derbyshire but travel all over the country most weekends to capture wedding. Its lucky a have an amazing wife who understands my passion. My type of photography is all about three words, Love, Fun & Style.