Posted: May 01st 2020
by Belle Hutton
Sophie and David met in 2010 and after a proposal in New York, got married at Holkham in August 2019.
We first met just over 9 years ago at Southend Athletics Club (SAC). We used to go to competitions together all round the country at weekends and SAC was a fantastic place to socialise together.
In Autumn 2016, we visited New York, and having sought approval from Sophie’s Mum and Dad, on the second day I asked Soph the question. The morning of, we went up the Empire State Building and my bag set off the alarm in security. I got frisked and bag was searched, but luckily they didn’t reveal the ring to Soph (that would have been an anti-climax). We later went for a walk in Central Park and found a nice quiet spot where there was a rockery with flowing water and that’s where she said YES! Soph doesn’t like to make a scene (particularly in front of strangers) so I felt finding a quiet spot in Central Park would be best. As a result, I love New York even more now!
When asked why they chose Holkham for their special day, Sophie says:
My grandparents have a cottage in Hindolveston, and we love going to stay for long weekends. We adore North Norfolk - particularly the walks with the family dogs, nice fires in the winter and the pub dinners! When I first took Dave to Holkham he fell in love instantly. The stunning Hall itself, combined with the Walled Garden, amazing landscapes, lake and of course the Temple. We really wanted to share that love of Holkham with our family and closest friends. Although you might think having a wedding at Holkham would be an elaborate affair, the options to have an outdoor ceremony at The Temple really appealed to us both. The Temple is such a magical and tranquil venue, and that is the kind of atmosphere we wanted to create for our day.
The night before the wedding, I stayed at The Victoria Inn with my sister and parents. Dave stayed in a large house in West Rudham and we were lucky enough to enjoy a full week in Norfolk before the wedding.On the morning of the wedding Dave went for a run along Holkham beach, then went straight on to Palmers Lodge (a beautiful property located within the grounds of Holkham) to get ready with his two brothers. Dave says it was perfect, they watched the first day of the Ashes Cricket together and were able to relax and get ready all together.
My wedding dress was a Justin Alexander gown which I fell in love with at Grace & Lace Bridal. I knew I wanted a laid back, Gatsbyesque style which I could wear for both our outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. The sleeves were detachable which allowed a seamless transition from the more modest look during the ceremony to a more relaxed style for the evening. I did my hair and make up as I am quite self-conscious but also wanted to make sure I looked like ‘me’.
My bridesmaids and I spent the morning getting ready together and it was a really personal and intimate way of starting the day. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The Bridesmaids dresses were from Ivy Blu in Billericay. I knew I wanted a green or blue to match our natural outdoor theme and the dresses we chose were just perfect. I loved the detailing on the backs which allowed for a grown-up elegance for all maids from teen to adult. Our little flower girls’ outfits were from M&S and were the perfect blend of simplicity and elegance. Jo from Constance Rose created some gorgeous flower crowns to tie everything together beautifully.
The suits were from Moss Bros, ties from Liberty London, Sophie got me some Links of London cufflinks, and Ted Baker shoes. And I bought some pocket watches from etsy for my brothers, Dad and Sophie’s Dad.
Our ceremony took place at the Temple within the grounds of Holkham. Sophie and I were also really keen to get married outdoors and the moment we found out it was possible to do that at the Temple, we knew it was the perfect.
Before the ceremony, I actually for the first time in the whole build up felt a little bit overwhelmed and nervous. Suddenly, I was sitting at the top of the steps of the Temple with our parents, and there were all the people we love there with us. I found that part really overwhelming in a good way. I was so thrilled and excited that all our favourite people had made the effort to come to Holkham. I’ll never forget that happiness!
After the ceremony we were lucky enough to be taken around the grounds of Holkham in a beautiful 1933 Rolls Royce Landaulette from Vintage Occasion Wedding Cars. It was the perfect moment for us to reflect on becoming husband and wife, just the two of us, able to take in what had been a perfect ceremony. We wanted to spend as much of our day as possible with our guests - but equally having that 15 minutes together driving around the grounds of Holkham was a truly special moment of the day! We were able to recap everything that had happened to this point.
Our colour scheme was kept simple and our flowers matched perfectly, they were stunning! We told Jo what kind of flowers we liked and she produced the most amazing arrangements. To add an extra element of magic to the Lady Elizabeth Wing we had Sam Race’s lanterns hanging above our guests.
The food we had was so incredible! Rebecca MacKenzie and Stephen David were two of the loveliest people in the world and absolutely incredibly talented at what they do.
We ended the evening with live music to get our guests dancing, and Dave’s Dad’s band (Big Yellow Suitcase) played for us which was brilliant.
The whole day exceeded our greatest expectations, we loved every part and wouldn’t change a single aspect of our day!