Posted: April 04th 2019
by Belle Hutton
James and I currently live and work in Singapore, so we are a long way from home! We therefore wanted a wedding weekend to enjoy as much time as possible with our friends and families. We got married on a Bank Holiday in May and thought Norfolk would be a lovely place for everyone to come and enjoy for the long weekend. James is from Leeds and I am from Essex so Norfolk seemed easily accessible for both parties. North Norfolk in particular was an idyllic part of the world and we both adore being by the sea. Holkham’s beach is so natural and unique, with some great pubs and accommodation close by.
When it came to the venue, the Marble Hall really sealed the deal for us. In fact, I couldn’t make the first viewing of the venue so it was down to James and our mums to choose. We weren’t looking for a church venue but the Marble Hall easily matched the beauty of a church – the Italian-inspired gorgeous dome, the steps, the ceiling and the balcony bowled us over. Not many venues in the world can compete with the feeling when you walk into that room for the first time.
Words can’t describe the way I felt the moment I walked into The Marble Hall on my wedding day. I was so ready to get down the aisle and kick off the day! Having my bridesmaids greet me and my Dad by my side was wonderful, and by this point, I was certainly feeling overwhelmed with love, happiness and nerves! Walking into our chosen song, I took time to take in people’s faces (I had the words of our lovely photographer, Kathy Ashdown, in my head to look up!) I couldn’t see James until I got to the end of the aisle. Seeing his face for the first time was the best feeling in the world.
Following a Prosecco and canape reception in the Statue Gallery, we arranged for buses to drive our guests to The Temple for the wedding reception. It was a gorgeous day outside but our guests seemed to revel the opportunity to see inside Holkham Hall. We hadn’t told them where we were going next though and wanted to keep an element of surprise!
Our guests were greeted with Singapore Sling cocktails - made famous by the Raffles Hotel in Singapore – and our transparent marquee, showing off The Temple in background. We really felt that The Temple was a hidden gem in an enchanting clearing in the woods. We made the most of the woodlands with outside bar tables, while inside we had a chill out area at the side of the dance floor with a mini wigwam for kids to play in.
As we live in Asia, and have spent most of our days together as a couple in Singapore, we really wanted to take this as inspiration as our vision for the day. We wanted to combine Asian romantic design with the natural and opulent British environment that Holkham provided. It all looked great in our heads, but pulling it off took a lot of hard work!
We bought some beautiful lanterns from Hoi Ann in Vietnam, and this lead our colour scheme – creams, mauves and greens, which we thought would look good in British springtime. My favourite flowers are orchids and, thanks to our wonderful florist Jo at Constance Rose, she was able to advise how these would work in the UK.
The food was also important to us – to create a fusion of Asian dishes and flavours with fresh local Norfolk ingredients – our caterers nailed it! You need to work so closely with your vendors, they are the ones that will help you pull off your vision and ours went beyond our expectations.
There are too many favourite moments from our wedding day to choose just one. The whole day was just brilliant end to end. Writing and reading our own vows was very special. The readings from friends and family were also lovely. James’ speech was incredible, it makes your guests feel so close to you in that moment, as they laugh and cry along with you. After a few drinks at the end of the night, both of us ended up being lifted up on the shoulders of our friends dancing to ‘You’ve got the Love’ – that was a very special feeling.
Flowers: Jo at Constance Rose
Caterer: Mackenzie-David Events