Posted: April 10th 2020
by Belle Hutton
When we met, neither of us wanted to get married, but after our daughters were born, my opinions changed. I didn’t have a proposal; we had a conversation. One day, I teased Joe with the idea of, “if we ever got married, I’d like to get married at…” and to my utter disbelief, off we went to look at venues and rings. Joe says that he was intending to propose in Italy… but I’m not so sure! For us, it was never about the flamboyant wedding; we wanted to unite us all as a family, and we were so proud of our girls’ involvement on the day.
From the moment we drove through the park at Holkham, all I felt was pure excitement. The Marble Hall was majestic, and spoke for itself in the most beautiful way. Holkham offered more than we ever imagined, and we both fell in love with it. We wanted an intimate and relaxed day to celebrate with our immediate family and closest friends, so we had 80 guests for the day.
The night before, we had an evening meal at The Victoria, with our twins, my sister, grandma, mother-in-law-to-be and her partner. After the meal, my sister and two beautiful daughters, Bella and Ava, stayed with me at The Victoria Inn, and Joe stayed at our home. I didn’t sleep very well that night, feeling sick with butterflies thinking about falling over or fluffing my vows in front of everyone.
My wedding dress was from Pure Brides in Norwich. When I put the dress on, I was overcome with emotion. It was simple and elegant, with a hint of sexiness about it. I wore the dress with some cream Valentino Rockstud ankle-strap pumps, a Links of London bracelet and earrings that matched my engagement ring.
We ultimately wanted a neutral colour palette for the day, and a simplistic and relaxed setting, with nothing too over the top. We wanted to show how beautiful the venue was without being overly dramatic. Our wedding favours were bespoke macarons by Macarons and More, which Tim matched with our wedding colour scheme, and my bridesmaid and maid of honour wore personalised blue-grey dresses. All of our make-up was natural and understated, and Gemma from Hair Artistry did my hair beautifully.
The most important part for us was our vows, for what is more important that giving yourself to the one person that brings out the best in you and is your equal? I was so anxious and nervous before the ceremony, my hands were shaking as I took hold of my dad’s arm and took a deep breath.
Joe Bailey, an acoustic guitarist, sang all of our chosen songs, and he was phenomenal. I walked down the aisle to Nathan Grisdale’s “Your Smile” and Hayley Reinhart’s “Can’t help falling in love” as we left. We had some photos taken with the immediate wedding party in the Saloon, and upon leaving with the doors opening, we were greeted by all of our family and friends lining the stairs. We thanked all our guests before making our way to the private terrace for some more photos, while our guests made their way to the reception at the Lady Elizabeth Wing. The children were greeted with games and a bouncy castle, and the adults, a roulette table. We wanted the children to enjoy the day as much as the adults.
After initial drinks and canapes, we enjoyed an afternoon tea of sandwiches, artisan breads, cakes and teas, to be later followed by a BBQ in the courtyard. Our drinks were refreshing, consisting of Pimms, Prosecco and orange juice, as with a summer wedding, we didn’t want to overwhelm our guests with a heavy menu. We had music by the amazing Good Times, who created an incredible atmosphere.
There was no single part of the day that was my favourite, but I do hold dear the moments that we managed to grab alone and reflect on us now being husband and wife. Joe really enjoyed being able to relax after the formalities and start talking to everyone.
If I could give any advice to other couples, it would be to be true to yourself and opt for a day with special meaning to you both. Practically speaking, I would say remember to book the key elements in advance, as most services seem to be booked at least 18 months ahead, and to enlist the help of a wedding stylist if you are able too.