Christmas may be over but so many couples are planning their festive wedding. Today we have a rustic barn wedding in Norfolk with eco details and nods to Christmas without being OTT Christmas. We love it – let’s catch up with Sarah who shares the details of her wedding with Drew; from meeting to the day itself.
How did you and your partner meet?
“We met on Tinder during the pandemic, our first date was a dog walk at Whitlingham Broad followed by drinks at Red Well Brewery where Drew decided to spill multiple pints over my dog Fudge’s head!”
How did you or your partner propose?
“Drew proposed on Southwold beach after I took receipt of the ring many weeks earlier without knowing whilst he was on his brother’s stag doo… he then used my best friend to keep the ring hidden at her house.”
Planning the wedding
“In a world where British weather remains as unpredictable as love itself, Drew and I (Sarah) embarked on our journey of planning our wedding event. Having experienced the loss of my mother, thewedding planning held a special significance. Choosing December a time of year entwined with the enchantment of the Christmas season, we embraced the chance of a festive backdrop for our celebration. With a shared love for food and whisky, our wedding was a true reflection of our passions. Every detail was organised using Excel spreadsheets, to-do lists, and stationery, and having friends we have made over the years be special parts of our day, whether that be hair, photography or crafting decorations. I found myself in my element, ensuring that our special day embodied our unique personalities and special details to make everyone feel special for a unique weekend everyone could remember.”
“Drew and I embarked on a journey to find the perfect venue, and Manor Mews was our second stop. From the start, we had envisioned a charming barn, and our priority was ensuring that all our family and friends, scattered across the UK, could stay close together. Manor Mews made it possible to transform our wedding into a full weekend celebration, allowing everyone the freedom to travel leisurely, unwind, and enjoy the day to the fullest. Situated in North Norfolk, near our home in Norwich, this location held a special place in our hearts. As we laid eyes on the enchanting twinkle of fairy lights, the grand high barn beams and ceiling, and the delightful outdoor space, we knew we had found the perfect place that ticked all the boxes for our dream wedding. Manor Mews was the place where our wedding dreams came true.“
“The journey of finding my dream wedding dress was an incredible experience. I highly recommend bringing along trusted individuals who will offer their honest opinions. I was initially skeptical of the “when you know, you know” mantra, but, oh my, it turned out to be true – not only for me but for my supportive friends and family as well. One invaluable tip: bring your wedding shoes and wear comfortable pants. It makes a world of difference. Equally important is finding the right bridal shop and consultant. If it doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts and remember that finding the dress is not just about how it looks, but how it makes you feel. It’s a journey filled with wonderful moments and, when you find the one, you’ll know it in your heart.:
“Drew is not your typical suit-and-tie kind of guy, so when it came to selecting his wedding attire, he was a bit uncertain. With his love for a good waistcoat and occasional blazer we had a plan. Given he had already purchased a pair of stylish Grenson boots, he aimed to stand out while staying true to his style. Our visit to Moss Boss proved to be the turning point, where we discovered a striking deep red blazer, and since Drew has a penchant for waistcoats, a matching one was the perfect addition. Drew looked incredibly sharp, yet entirely himself. He exuded a relaxed and contented vibe, dressed in cream chinos, a crisp white shirt, and a charming tweed green bow tie. The ensemble made him the perfect groom – effortlessly stylish and uniquely suited to his personality.”
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Outfits
“To maintain the festive ambiance and harmonise with our chosen colour scheme, our Best Man and the Father of the Bride donned matching tweed material suits similar to that of the groom but in a rich green. This thoughtful choice not only added a delightful touch of uniformity to the wedding party but also made our dear ones feel intimately connected to the celebration. The coordinated attire beautifully encapsulated the spirit of our special day and complimented the festive time of year.”
“Fern’s Flowers were instrumental in realizing the vision of our winter wedding. They skillfully crafted beautiful buttonholes, bouquets, archway floral decorations, and a special mistletoe piece that graced the exterior. These blooms seamlessly combined a winter colour scheme with subtle nods to Christmas, adding enchantment to our celebration. To complete our winter wonderland, we adorned the venue with two illuminated Norwegian pine Christmas trees outside and my beloved childhood family Christmas tree inside. The latter was adorned with ornaments and photographs in remembrance of cherished loved ones who are no longer with us but remain close to our hearts. For the tables, we incorporated rustic elements by using log slices from a recently felled tree at my family home and locally collected pinecones. Glass jars with soft lighting cast a warm, inviting glow. Our table numbers were upcycled from favourite gin and whisky bottles, while handcrafted place cards, featuring pinecone accents and tied with ribbons, added a personal and heartwarming touch to our special day.”
“For our wedding cake, there was only one choice – Joan, my Sister-in-Law’s mother, who had been delighting our family with her cake creations for over 15 years. To stand out, we opted for a dramatic twist with striking black icing adorned with delicate porcelain flowers that echoed my bouquet. However, the real surprise was a playful nod to our beloved dog, Fudge, with a little spaniel taking a cheeky nibble out of the back. Inside, the cake was a delicious blend of our favorite flavors: Biscoff, Lemon Drizzle, and Chocolate. To honor my parents’ wedding, just as they did many years ago, I made a special bread pudding since my father is allergic to eggs.”
“Our wedding stationery became a canvas for Drew’s boundless creativity. He designed our logo, invitations, save-the-date cards, recipe cards, maps, and signage, all meticulously tailored to our color scheme. With a touch of word-smithing from me, he brought our wedding vision to life, making it truly our own.”
Did you have any eco elements?
“We transformed recycled bottles and jars into delightful decorations, while locally sourced pinecones graced our tables, infusing the celebration with the beauty of the outdoors. Our commitment to sustainability extended to our sweet trolley, where pre-loved sweet jars were given a new life. A sentimental tribute to our family roots, we used wood slices from our family garden, lending a cozy, rustic ambiance. We also introduced potted Christmas trees, some of which were thoughtful gifts and others that still adorn our garden, adding a touch of greenery to the setting. Our confetti was dried from roses from our engagement and family and friends’ gardens, they smelt incredible. To minimize waste, we dried and preserved our flowers, ensuring their beauty lives on beyond our special day.”
What was the best part of your wedding day?
“Gathering all our cherished friends and family for a grand celebration was our ultimate joy. After enduring two challenging years of the pandemic and the heartbreaking loss of loved ones, creating a positive and joyful atmosphere was our top priority. The moment I saw my husband at the end of the aisle, and the sight of everyone’s smiling faces, was an overwhelming feeling of pure happiness. It was a powerful reminder of the love and resilience that brings us together during life’s most important moments. However, the rave hours with everyone with glow sticks is an image we will never forget.”
What are you most looking forward to about being married?
“Embarking on a lifelong journey with my best friend, stepping into the next chapter of our lives, and eagerly embracing whatever challenges and joys come our way is a heartwarming thought. It’s a beautiful reminder that our story continues to evolve, and we’re excited to face it together. Though there’s the anticipation of a new surname, which I’ll probably still have to spell out when booking a table over the phone it’s one of those things…”
Photographer: Beth Beresford Photography @bethberefordphotography
Venue: Manor Mews @Manormewsnorfolk
Dress: Pure Brides @Purebrides
Shoes: Sophia Webster @sophiawebster
Groom suit and accessories: Moss Bros @Mossbros
Styling/Stylist: Epic Events – @ Epic.events.norfolk
Florist: Fern Flowers @ Fernflowers17
Hair and Makeup: Nicole’s Beauty Norwich – @nicolesbeautynorwich/ Emma Russell @ Erussell2685
Cake: Flosses Cakes
Harpist: Xenia Horne Harpist @ManormewsnorfolkHarpist
Caterer: Unique Norfolk Venues @Uniquenorfolkvenues
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