Natural wedding photography for Lowestoft, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and across Norfolk & Suffolk
Katie and Jason's beautiful Glemham Hall
Glemham Hall is a most unique venue for a wedding with its historic and beautiful grounds combined with the elegance and charm of the old hall itself, and on a bright sunny day in early July such a splendid place for Katie and Jason's special day.
What better way to have a little insight into Katie and Jason's wedding day at Glemham Hall but to ask the bride herself a few questions about the big day....
Tell us a little about the proposal?
We got engaged on the beach outside the Anantara Rasananda hotel in Koh Phangnan, Thailand. Jason had arranged treatments in the hotel's amazing spa during the day as a surprise, so I had a feeling something was up... He then told me that I should wear the best dress I had bought, even though we had planned to go to quite a laid back restaurant for dinner. Couple these things with the fact Jason refused to put his hand luggage in the overhead locker for the entire 15 hour flight, that the hotel had upgraded our room and that every staff member knew who 'Mr Jason' was and alarm bells were definitely ringing for me!
On the evening of the proposal we went down towards the beach from our room and Jason told a waitress he had a reservation, confusing but I went with it... She then led us to a beautiful private dining area on the beach which was set up with a kind of organza gazebo, flowers, candles and all sorts! Jason had picked a delicious menu, although I have to say that I don't remember too much about the food because I was too busy trying to get in touch with my parents to tell them the news! He chose the ring by himself, although knew the sort of style I would like, and did a lot of research into diamond cuts and grades - he is nothing if not meticulous!
What was your vision for your big day?
We're both quite outdoorsy people and loved the idea of bringing the outside in. We thought lots of flowers, foliage and wood! The marquee was a beautiful canvas to work with and meant that we could do as much or as little as we liked in terms of decor.
We wanted the day to be fairly laid back - tradition was followed in places but certainly not the focus, more of a guideline!
The gardens at Glemham were absolutely perfect for what we were after and we were really praying when we booked a summer date that we'd be able to make use of them. As it turned out we had a whole day of gorgeous sunshine so we definitely made the most of it by being outside a lot!
What were your thoughts on colour themes for your wedding?
We knew that we didn't want just one set colour because there are so many lovely ones to choose from! I wasn't too fussy about what the colours would be so they ended very much being determined by the bridesmaids dresses, which were one of the first things I sorted (albeit after a lot of trial and error). The general theme ended up being pale blue and coral, with a bit of ivory and lilac thrown in! Not having a set theme also meant that I could have lots of different types of flowers, which were a huge part of it for me.
Tell us a few details about your wedding cake?
I really wasn't keen on the idea of a traditional wedding cake and was very conscious of how costly they are. I wanted to prioritise money in our budget to areas that we most cared about and really don't like doing things just for the sake of it! This being said, we decided to incorporate lots of yummy cupcakes into our colour and floral themes. We had 4 different flavours (lemon, victoria sponge, coffee and chocolate) and 4 different colours, each with a different sugar icing flower on top. My dad made a log slice cupcake stand which looked amazing on the table. He was very worried that since he made it a couple of months before the wedding it had 'mset a bit of the wonk, but we loved that this added to the rustic and homemade feel.
We also asked Sarah at Kitty's Cakes to make figures of our two cats, Buddy and Daisy. We love them to bits so wanted to have them featured in some way and there aren't too many options when it comes to cats and weddings...
When did you know that you had found ‘the’ dress?
Similar to the cake, the dress was another area that I was keen not to spend an absolute fortune on but didn't want to compromise on quality or style... So I made 3 appointments in one day to try on dresses with my mum and sister-in-law, aka bridesmaid, in tow. I had an open mind on the style of dress as they're all so pretty anyway!
The first shop I went to was specifically ex sample or pre-loved dresses and whilst there were some gorgeous ones, I didn't find one that made me particularly excited. I ended up finding my dress in the second bridal shop we visited. I tried loads on and fell in love with one that was ex sample, however the lady in the shop really wanted me to try a couple of others that were different to the lacy style I had fallen in love with. She came out with the beautiful Provonias Presta dress, with a satin top and tuille skirt and the reaction from my mum and sister-in-law when I put it on said it all. The situation was hugely helped by the fact the size I tried had fit me perfectly! The draw back, however, being that this was a full priced dress! I then went onto the third shop and had completely lost interest - comparing all others to the Presta.
When I got home I decided to search for the dress online on the off chance I would find a bargain, I would have bought it from the shop if not. But low and behold I came across a bridal shop in Warwick with a sample sale on their website who were selling the Presta in the size above what I needed but for £900 less than the shop!! After a couple of emails to confirm the [perfect] condition of the dress I made the purchase and received it in a big box a week or so later - it was a very exciting delivery! Then it was just a case of having the alterations made and a handmade belt added that I bought off Etsy, Heidi at Boutique of Alterations in Ipswich did a fantastic job of it.
A really lovely and somewhat different touch to your wedding was the ‘confetti pony’ how did this come about?
This is a bit of a long story... Little Jack Brock was something I came across on a wedding magazine instagram page and I immediately fell in love with the idea! I adore animals of any kind, with a particular love of horses, so I was thrilled by the idea of being able to have a horse there without it having to be a horse and carriage (which I would have loved, but didn't need). So I sent an enquiry for Jack Brock but then decided that it was a bit frivolous and should probably focus the budget elsewhere.
A couple of months later, on the train to work, I happened to glance at Jason's phone as he was checking his emails and saw an email from Ali, Jack's owner, and knew that he must have been in discussions with her about our wedding. I kept it to myself for a couple of weeks as I felt really bad that I had accidentally spoilt the surprise but then I thought 'what if he hasn't booked it and i'm just assuming that's what he's done - i'm going to be really upset on the day!'. With that, I knew I had to put my mind at rest and own up that I had seen Ali's name in his email.
So I told Jason about it and he then had to tell me that he was booking Jack as a surprise and had already arranged it with the venue and everything. I think it was better for us that there were no secrets though because it would have just added to the stress! We kept him as a surprise for all the guests on the day and they absolutely loved him - he stole the show!
How did you feel on the morning of your wedding and in particular walking towards Jason at the ceremony?
The morning of the wedding was a part of the day that I was so excited for during the whole planning process (as well as the ceremony, obviously!). On the day I felt pretty calm, mainly excited but with a bit of nerves thrown in! I loved hanging out with my bridesmaids and having the hairdressers (Lizzie and Louise at Little Luxuries) and make up artist (Emily Smith) pamper us. It all feels like a bit of a blur but when the time came that I needed to put my dress on I started feeling really nervous! Thankfully the girls were on hand to dress me, they were putting my hoop on me and fastening my shoes.
When I took the first step around the corner onto the aisle with my dad there were so many things going through my head, but the first thing I saw was Jason's little face tearing up, it was so sweet and made me feel even more excited. Following that I was concentrating on holding my flowers at the right height, not getting caught in the lavender on the right, making sure my dress wasn't caught in dad's shoe on the left (it happened at the beginning of our walk), smiling, looking up - there is SO much to think about walking down the aisle!
What would you say were the most memorable moments?
One of the most memorable moments for me is waiting just behind the hedge before walking down the aisle in the rose gardens. The registrar was talking me through things and pointed out that I had a bee in one of the layers of my dress - so we had to quickly remove it before the string quarter started playing! Another (better) memorable moment is during our first dance when we gestured for people to join us and a swarm of people came towards the dance floor, it was so lovely that all the couples wanted to get involved and were feeling the love!
Tell us a little about the various suppliers you used and why you chose them?
I work as an Event Coordinator (in London, not locally sadly!) and think this contributed to me finding choosing suppliers a really tricky task. I deal with various suppliers on a daily basis but usually for events with a bigger budget than my wedding, so I had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn't quite going to be the same! I actually found that a surprising amount of suppliers we sent enquiries to didn't even respond, or if they did some took over a month, so that played a part in filtering the selection as well as budget!
Florist -Triangle Nurseries, Martlesham - Mary was great at dealing with my many requests and as they are a wholesale provider as well as event florist Triangle were able to provide the arrangements we were after at a much more favourable price! Again, amazing quality and service still so there was no compromise on anything in order to make these savings.
String Quartet - Scintillo are a very popular quartet in Suffolk and after a bit of research into the various options we were really pleased to be able to book them. I've known for a long time that I wanted a string quartet at my wedding, they always give me goosebumps!
Decor Hire - A Little Touch of Heaven by Emzo - They're based in Bacton and have a little Aladdin's cave of bits and bobs, from chalkboards to tealight holders! We didn't hire a huge amount but it was great to be able to get the items we did.
Stationary - We tried to do as much of this ourselves as we could. Jason designed our beautiful floral save the dates based on a free vector image and a printer that I use through work very kindly offered to print these for me. For the wedding invites we purchased another floral based design from Boheme Prints on Etsy and then sent the files across to the printer again. I tied all parts of the invite (menu, details etc) together with ribbon and twine and we painstakingly wax sealed each envelope. We probably spent about £50 or so on our stationary in total though, which was great!
Band - Stumpy Oak - Having lived in Aberdeen for two years Jason and I were really keen to have a Ceilidh band at our wedding, it's such fun and gets everyone up and dancing. Stumpy Oak were amazing during the two Ceilidh sets and then they provided a DJ set for the last hour and a half which was so much fun as well.
Hairdresser - Little Luxuries in Kesgrave - Lizzie and Louise were with us on the morning of the wedding and did an amazing job. All my bridesmaids loved them as they were so enthusiastic and lovely.
Make Up - Emily Smith - I knew Emily through a friend so she was an obvious choice for make up, she worked for Clinique for a number of years and now works for Dior as well as being a freelance make up artist. I am extremely jealous of her insanely large collection and she did a great job for me and the bridesmaids on the day.
Cake - Kitty's Cakes - The cake supplier was an area where we really struggled!! We had samples sent from one local supplier and were extremely unimpressed! We then went to another and whilst the cake was nice we just didn't feel a kind of 'fit' with the supplier. So feeling at a bit of a loss I got in touch with Glemham to ask if they could recommend anyone and they suggested Sarah at Kitty's Cakes. So my Mum and I went for a tasting (Jason was very upset he was busy that day). Sarah was absolutely lovely and her cakes were amazing, the decision was finally made!
Photographer (I thought I would add this part in to big up Mark!) - This was another really tricky area for us! Jason is very much into his photography and we both obviously wanted to get the best photos we possibly could from our wedding day. This being said, I did a lot of research into local photographers! There are some brilliant ones around, however I found a lot of them would charge a base rate up until the end of speeches, then first dance etc would be extra as would the cost of a photo album, so the costs were constantly increasing. When I came across Mark's website, which I think was the result of a google search, I was immediately interested. His website is great, photos AMAZING and pricing clear through the packages he offers. Jason and I were over the moon when we met him and got immediate good vibes. We were so happy with our choice, I don't think we could have found a more passionate photographer if we tried!
Do you have any tips or advice for couples planning their wedding?
From my time as a wedding coordinator I worked with some truly crazy brides (also lovely ones) so since then I have always thought it's important to remember the reason you are having this wedding in the first place - don't lose track of the point! I would say get as much done/booked as early on as you can and that will give you a bit of time in between to consider your options for the nitty gritty details, rather than having to rush everything at once. Also, if you're on a budget, think about what is most important to you. We had a few friends nagging us before the day (in a jokey way) about a photo booth, but in our minds we would rather people were dancing to the band than having pictures taken in a booth. Everyone has different priorities!