I was so excited to shoot my very first Hintlesham Hall wedding and I knew that Duane and Shannon’s big day was going to be really special. They are the loveliest couple who I had grown to like very much from our meetings and their engagement shoot.
The venue is a Grade I listed mansion with stunning grounds and impressive rooms where the ceremony and wedding breakfast take place, flooded with light from huge windows. I loved the unusual colours at this wedding – the bridesmaids in nude pink sequinned dresses (and matching glittery eye-shadow!) together with stunning bouquets of shades of pink and daisies. Shannon looked the picture of elegance in a lace-backed gown and the little page boys and younger bridesmaids were also impeccably dressed.
One of my favourite parts of a wedding is the speeches as it is a really relaxed, fun part of the day, and I love capturing all the candid shots and reactions of the guests. I don’t remember laughing as much as I did at this wedding, the best man’s speech was absolutely hilarious if a little close to the mark!
Even though the surroundings were grand, the atmosphere was very laid back with all the ingredients for a perfect day… love, laughter and sunshine.
A special thanks to Paul Summerfield for second shooting. Here’s a selection from the day…
I loved photographing Fenella and James’s traditional wedding, held in one of the prettiest churches I’ve seen – Badley Church – down a mile long track, with the reception held at Fen’s parent’s farm with three marquees on the lawn to hold their huge amount of guests! Here are Fenella’s own words about their special day…
Tell me a little about you and James and about the proposal..
James and I come from similar Suffolk stock, with farming at the core of our friendship circles, but with 10 years between us we were only introduced through mutual friends at a local hunt ball in 2013. We met at the jagerbomb bar and the rest was history… 2 years later he proposed to me on the moonlit slopes of Hinterglemm in Austria, on one knee in the snow after a couple of schnapps for dutch courage with the village lit up below us which was extremely romantic. We skied down to our friends at the après bar and celebrated into the early hours, with plenty of jagerbombs- of course!
How would you describe your wedding and what was the most memorable moment or highlights?
Our day was a classic English wedding and very traditional throughout, you only have one opportunity (hopefully!) to organise a day such as this and we both wanted it to be formal, yet personal. The formalities were followed, morning suits and plenty of hats, our local church and marquee at home and then we added a few of our own touches throughout.
My most memorable moment was as I was entering the church on my father’s arm to be greeted by a sea of friendly faces, with such expressions of happiness for James and I that I will never forget it – it’s once in a lifetime you are looked at in that way, I was halfway down the aisle before James and I had eye contact and it was such a special moment.
One of the highlights included the surprise horse and carriage James had arranged to take us away from church with the longest confetti run from the church door to the carriage. Halfway back along the mile long church track we pulled over to allow the stream of cars to come past and were able to say hello to all of our guests which worked perfectly as most of our reception was taken up with the photographs!
Where did you get married and why?
We married at a beautiful and historic church that is very close to my heart. Situated down a mile long track, Badley Church backs onto our family farm and is centuries old and now redundant. I always knew I would never marry anywhere other than here and we had to seek permission, and a marriage licence, granted by the Archbishop for the ceremony to take place.
The reception was just across the fields at my parents’ home with a marquee in the garden. This did require a lot more organising but was worth it to have a more intimate feel to our day and the flexibility that a venue doesn’t offer, such as a finish time of our choice… the last guests left the bar at 4am!
What was your wedding style or theme?
Traditional, classic and elegant but with a touch of glamour. Colours were pale blue, grey, silver and white.
Where did you find your suppliers?
Sourcing everything locally was a big part of the preparation of our day, as a farmer and owner of a farm shop James wanted to use their own produce for some of the food and I followed his lead when using the rest of our suppliers. Blogs, websites and magazines didn’t really feature for me in the organising, I knew what I wanted and went from recommendations, existing knowledge and a few local wedding shows for everything we needed!
The caterers, Movable Feast, are based near Bury St Edmunds and I waitressed for them during my A levels and University days so always wanted them for my own big day. They were effectively wedding organisers for us and took so much of the pressure off in the build-up, as well as running things to clockwork on the day itself.
Our marquee was provided by friends of my parents, Anglia Coastal Marquees – they fit this round the layout of the garden perfectly across three separate, but linked, marquees which made it really unique.
The band we had seen at a friend’s wedding the previous year and so many other elements all came from the surrounding area- dress, cake, photographer(!), photo booth, string trio, flowers. In fact, the only thing that wasn’t was our stationary which came from a London printer.
Tell me about your dress and why you chose it? What did the groom wear, and what about the bridesmaids?
I stumbled upon my dress by chance, I had several appointments arranged at local dress shops, but had also had a recommendation to go direct to the wedding dress designer, Terry Fox, at her studio. This was the first appointment of many planned, I had an idea of the style of dress I thought would suit me, but selected one completely different to this and once I had it on that was it. All the other appointments were cancelled. Terry’s glamourous style appealed to me as it was so different to all the other dresses that follow current trends, it was a more individual choice that was just ‘me’ and on the day it was comfortable and made me feel amazing.
The groom and his best man and ushers were all in morning suits and we had bespoke ties made for them to keep, through Trotter & Dean in Bury St Edmunds. We chose the colour, material and style but our order was a bit last minute so they went to great lengths to have them finished in time and we thanked them with plenty of strawberries and asparagus from the farm!
James’ son was a pageboy and we hired his outfit from Coes in Ipswich, he accompanied my two sisters who were bridesmaids and they wore beautiful pale blue/grey dresses from Coast – we were only able to purchase these online as they had sold out everywhere, fortunately they were perfect for them and very fitting for the day.
Tell me about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I really went to town with my shoes and purchased two pairs of Jimmy Choo’s – high for as long as I could bear them, and then flats to change into later on. Both of them I have worn since and had so many comments on how gorgeous they are! There was mention of this extravagance on a couple of occasions in the speeches…
I wore minimal jewellery as my dress had beautiful embellishment and I also had a full veil with bespoke hair clip which I didn’t want to detract from, but for my ‘something borrowed’ a friend lent me her antique diamond and pearl drop earrings that she had worn for her own wedding which were perfect.
Did you have professional hair and make-up?
Professionals for both. I really did not want the pressure of this on the morning of the wedding so I arranged for hair and makeup to be done for myself, bridesmaids, mother of the bride and mother of the groom. Everyone enjoyed the pampering and it was all part of the experience.
My hair was done by the lady who has looked after my hair since the age of 5, we had three trials before the day to get it exactly right and it was lovely to have a familiar face with us whilst we were all getting ready.
The makeup artist, Leona Seymour, was a recommendation from a contact I had within the industry and she came from Nottingham. I loved what she did at the trial as I didn’t want to look drastically different, she took this instruction on board and was able to just create a better version of me. I decided to put her up in a hotel the night before as didn’t want the worry of traffic delays when time is so important on that morning.
What style of wedding flowers did you go for?
We went big on the flowers! This was another personal touch to the day as my mother-in-law to be offered her services to organise all of this and I am extremely grateful for the effort put in to create such beautiful arrangements. She pulled together a team of people to assist and sourced all of the flowers as well. It was amazing to see the empty church and marquees be transformed with so many flowers everywhere and was all part of the build-up in the days before. For the bouquets and buttonholes we used a local florist, Bethany Rose, based in Saxmundham who liaised with us on the other flower arrangements to ensure they all tied in.
Any other special touches on the day or home-made elements?
At one point during the planning stages I was worried that our day was looking too formal and traditional and therefore didn’t express us as a couple enough, but then these other touches came together and I truly wouldn’t have changed a thing.
One of my artistic friends created a number of hand painted signs positioned around the marquees and, my favourites, along the track to the church.
Another friend sang for us during the ceremony through the signing of the register, accompanied by another friend’s mother who was part of a string trio.
We had a sweetie and flip flop cart for weary feet on the dancefloor (which was raided as soon as guests arrived back from the church!), an extremely successful ‘Gin Bar’ that was drunk dry despite having 40 bottles on offer, a bespoke wedding guest book put together by Clare Butler using our engagement shoot photographs, and schnapps for a toast during the speeches which had been shipped to us from Hinterglemm in Austria as a link to the proposal.
What kind of cake did you choose and why?
I took inspiration from Pinterest for the cake and then talked through these ideas with a family member who also happens to be a professional cake maker! She was able to put these ideas into reality and the cake was stunning. It was 4 tiers high plus additional cutting trays for the caterers so that we could have 5 different flavours served to our guests later in the evening with chocolate dipped strawberries from Friday Street Farm Shop, of course!
Entertainment on the night – what did you go for and why?
We had not one, but two bands, on the night! One professional – The Mighty Persuaders – and the other my Fathers (although he felt like he was the pro on the night with all his friends chanting his name during his sets…)
This meant we had constant music all evening and our guests were fully entertained until the early hours.
On the day tips and advice:
The most crucial part to having the most incredible day is being able to relax and enjoy it. By being as organised as you can possibly be in the lead up, means you can afford to do this. Having 300 guests as your responsibility is a lot of pressure and I wanted them to enjoy every moment of the day as well. Everyone laughed at the extent that my itinerary went to, but it meant I could pass the baton and know that every tiny detail had been covered off.
Make use of your bridal party to help you- they are willing volunteers and ours rose to the occasion and went above and beyond my expectations so with this assistance, alongside our trusted suppliers, everything was flawless.
How did you feel looking through your photos?
James and I were thrilled with our photos, as were our families, and we received so many lovely comments from everyone else who has seen them. The Collection truly captures the happiness and detail of the day. The biggest surprise was how much the church ceremony meant to me, I thought it would be the celebrating afterwards! The photos taken during the service are reflective of this once in a lifetime experience and are extremely special for our memories.
And now for the photos…
To see more of my Suffolk weddings, take a look over at my website portfolio.
This year was my third full year in business and I had the pleasure of working for so many lovely new clients, and for portraits, had many returning ones. It’s such a privilege to be part of people’s lives and to document such special occasions and I would like to thank everyone of my clients for their support.
It’s been an amazing year and I do feel so blessed to have such a rewarding job that gets me out and about meeting lots of new people. I’ve been lucky to work at some fabulous venues this year including Easton Grange, Woolverstone Hall, Oxnead Hall, Chippenham Park and Glemham Hall, to name a few! I would like to say a special thank you to the local venues for their support, it is so much appreciated.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2017!
Here are a few images from 2016…
If you would like to see more Suffolk Wedding Photography, please visit my portfolio on my website by clicking here… and for Portrait Photography Suffolk, click here!
I absolutely loved being part of Nadia and David’s gorgeous Oxnead Hall wedding this summer, for so many reasons. The stunning colours and details – so refreshing to have a berry colour scheme for a summer wedding and it worked wonderfully. The venue is spectacular, with its gorgeous church next door and stunningly beautiful grounds and interiors. David and Nadia were the loveliest couple whose love shone through on the day, together with their lovely families who had come from all over the world to celebrate. I asked Nadia to tell me about the day from her perspective..
Tell me about you and David and the proposal…
David is the reason behind the colour in our life, he is full of ideas, surprises, laughter- which translates well into his job as a Science Teacher! I am a bit more of the sensible type, befitting of a GP! David is from Norfolk, and I am from here, there and everywhere! I was raised in the Middle East and then moved to Europe, America and then England–ultimately moving from near Nofolk, Virginia to Norfolk, England– meant to be! My 30th birthday was on the horizon and David decided it should be an even bigger occasion! We had been in Paris and the champagne region the days leading up to my birthday and I was a bit miffed that we had to come home the day before. But little did I know, David had invited friends and family, from all over, to our favourite North Norfolk hotel (Titchwell Manor) to celebrate my birthday– and as a suprise to them, our Engagement! The morning following the party, before we all met for breakfast, David asked me to come out and have a look at “something”. Outside I found a classic mini which he had wrapped in birthday paper complete with balloons– I then noticed that David was on one knee asking me to have a look at a package under the drivers seat. We then surprised everyone at breakfast with the most sparkly ring and biggest smiles!
How would you describe your wedding and what were the most memorable moments or highlights?
I have to admit I have never dreamt of a wedding or had much in the way of views regarding theme etc. We quickly decided that we would just like our wedding day to just be about happiness, good food, too much drink and bringing family and friends together for a weekend celebration! We were so lucky that a lot of our family and friends were able to travel over for a few days and we were able to spend Friday before the wedding catching up with everyone at Oxnead Hall – it was lovely to have a wedding weekend because the day truly does race by! We both felt our most memorable moment was turning to face a congregation of people we loved, as a newly married Mr & Mrs – we took a few moments to take it all in and then with a kiss we were off down the aisle and off to celebrate!
Where did you get married and why?
We chose to get married at Oxnead Hall and its adjoining little chapel. After viewing Oxnead we decided there was no need to view anywhere else- it was the first and last venue we viewed. When we talked about our wedding I was more in favour of a small low key affair, but David was thinking of a more lavish big English affair. So he did a bit of scouting found Oxnead Hall, brought me to see it and I was instantly converted to the idea of a big English country wedding! Oxnead was perfect with its beautiful lake, its majestic gardens, fountains and statues, all of the history in its buildings, quaint little chapel and it was big enough to house all of us!
What was your wedding style or theme – colours/flowers etc.
We chose to be guided by the gorgeous setting at Oxnead Hall and chose seasonal flowers, flavours and colours with rich, romantic deep berry colours and florals – which happily matched the colour of my sloe gin flavours! As we are a science-y couple we chose to borrow some bits and pieces from David’s classroom for our table settings – round bottom flasks on bunson burner stands filled with gorgeous seasonal richly coloured flowers with a bit of jasmine to bring a Mediterranean aroma to Norfolk!
Tell me about your dress and why you chose it? What did the groom wear, and what about the bridesmaids?
I went to a couple of wedding shops but could not find anything near what I wanted – I envisioned a simple silk dress like my mother’s wedding dress with added swiss dot lace due to my love of polka dots! I remember seeing a wedding dress shop in Reepham once when David and I had gone out for a cycle ride so booked up with my mum to have a look but didn’t have any expectations. We both fell in love with Katrine Mogensen and at the end of our meeting had designed the perfect dress! It was such a delight meeting up with Katrine over the coming months and watching the sketches come to life in a beautiful silk and lace dress. I will never forget the time I went to try it on once it had been complete, my mother and sister were with me, and it was just so special!
My bridesmaids are all gorgeous girls who all live in different cities across the Atlantic. I wanted them to feel confident and beautiful and hated the idea of putting them into a “bridesmaid dress” that would not allow their personalities to come through – after all I love them for who they are and to be honest, they each have great style – so I asked them to pick any dress they like and if possible to keep it along a berry/red wine colour palate– it was a great suprise to see them in their dresses on the day and they looked fabulous!
David had “joked” about wanting to have peacocks wandering about on the grounds at Oxnead (unsurprisingly he looked into this as found a peacock farm down the road from Oxnead)– as you can likely tell he is the life, the pizazz and the constant source of laughter in my life (and all those that know him!). Thank goodness he settled for a peacock motif lined jacket and waist coat on his Ted Baker suit – of which the Groomsmen wore inside out as the night went on!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We went with the lovely Ophelia’s wedding out of Biddy’s Tea Room. It had become a tradition to go to Biddys after dress designing/fittings. David had once seen a cake in the window of Biddys just after we were engaged that he loved, so we knew it was meant to be and did not look any further. After meeting Charlie (owner of Biddys/Ophelias and amazing artist in her own right!) we were so very excited about our cake. We sat down and just talked about what we liked– we both had very different ideas and Charlie sketched the perfect cake with both of our favourite elements in front of us. We had a traditional top and bottom layer and the middle was a hand painted motif inspired by David’s favourite Monet painting which we had been to Paris to view the days before our engagement. The cake tasted as gorgeous as it looked– carrot layer, rose & lemon, and a bottom layer of dark chocolate brownie and caramel dream!
Were there any other special elements about your day?
David again, was full of surprises on the day! He managed to organise a gorgeous vintage Rolls Royce wedding car to take me to the church and take us for a wee spin as husband and wife. We have a love for classic cars and it really was such a treat! David also organised a tremendous bagpiper in homage to my Scottish roots, I can not describe the emotions of being carried down the aisle by the beautiful and soulful tune of The Wedding March on bagpipes! As well as those suprises, David managed to accumulate metre upon metre of bunting and charged his groomsmen with hanging it on the morning of the wedding. When David took me to see Oxnead Hall I mentioned how magical it would be if bunting was hung from the trees on the lane leading to the church and hall – and he decided then that that is what we would have (even if it did have to be raised to let a combine harvester through!). I was also very very fortunate that so many of our family and friends chose to be there on our day – they traveled from all over the world and it meant so very much to me. We chose to get married in Norfolk because our life was here together; that and I always struggle to know where in the world I am actually from – Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Egypt, Switzerland, America….Norfolk? But I was so fortunate that we had friends and family from each corner of my life travel the long journey to sleepy Norfolk to celebrate!
Finally, were you happy with your wedding photos?
We were so very grateful to Clare in the lead up to the day, on the day, and beyond delighted with her work after the day. She was so supportive, professional and made the choice of photographer a carefree obvious choice for us! I am in awe of how she managed to capture the essence of the day and how each of her beautiful images holds a story; looking at them conjures up the emotions of the exact moment photographed. We were so lucky to have Clare photograph our wedding, and have heard no end of compliments from both our guests and people who have viewed our photographs.
And now for the photos…
If you would like to see more Wedding Photography in Suffolk or Norfolk, please visit the gallery section of my website here…
Here’s a little interview with Annie the lovely bride, telling me all about her and Lewis’ gorgeous Garden Barn Suffolk wedding.,,,
Tell me a little about you and Lewis?
Lewis and I have been together for 3 years and engaged for a year and a half. I had no clue Lewis was going to propose. It was Christmas Eve and we had decided to make our own tradition of giving each other a Christmas present early. I had given Lewis a silly present and was waiting on mine. I didn’t at the time understand why Lewis was so anxious for me to keep my eyes shut and had found it funny he had asked me to put a blanket over my head. When I took the blanket off he was down on one knee. It was the most amazing feeling! That was and will be the best Christmas ever!
How would you describe your wedding and did you have a style or theme?
I would describe our wedding as the most wonderful day – so chilled and relaxed. We had the most beautiful weather and really enjoyed the day drinking and eating sitting in the picturesque garden. It was so nice to celebrate with my closest friends and family. The highlight for me was marrying Lewis – it was the most amazing feeling declaring my love in front of friends and family to the man I’m so glad I found. The whole day was filled with love and it’s a day I will never forget!
Our wedding style was rustic vintage. I wanted wedding flowers that were very natural and loved the soft pastel colours and loved roses and peonies. I was a little nervous as you don’t really know what your flowers will look like until they day but they were perfect. Just what I had imaged! They went with the theme perfectly.
You chose The Garden Barn venue, what made you decide on this venue?
We had visited a few venues before we booked The Garden Barn, but nothing felt quite right. I knew I wanted a barn wedding and as soon as I stepped inside the barn I fell in love. The beams were beautiful and the garden was lovely. I just knew I wanted our wedding there.
Any tips for saving money and what are you glad you spent money on?
My best tip is to try and make as much as you can. I made my own invites, wedding favours, table plan, chair decorations and more. Pinterest helped with this too. I bought the bridesmaid dresses from Asos and customised the belts, that was a great money saver. I was pleased we spent money on Lewis’s suit. He had a tailor made suit and it fitted perfect. He looked so smart and handsome.
What did you wear – dress, accessories and shoes, and what did your bridesmaids wear? Did you have professional hair and make-up?
I work for Phase Eight and we have a beautiful bridal collection. I had been working in the Freeport Braintree Outlet just after the proposal and was curious as to what style would suit me so tried a few on. I instantly fell in love with one, I was so pleased with it on the day it felt amazing!
Lewis wore a tailor made suit from Trotter and Dean in Bury St Edmunds which fitted with the theme perfectly.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Asos and my mum custom made the belts. They were a perfect colour and everyone commented on how lovely they were.
Lewis had bought me as a wedding present my Tiffany necklace which was perfect for the wedding day and it was such a lovely surprise. My mum had made me a bracelet from the pearls of her wedding necklace and added blue beads in for something old, new, borrowed, blue. My shoes were one of my favourite accessory. I had hunted for a pair of shoes I liked for a while and came across a designer called Charlotte Mills. Every shoe in her bridal collection are amazing but I loved the heart detail on the back of mine.
My make up was by Sabrina Professional Make up – she did an amazing job.
I was being so indecisive about my hair and it started to get very stressful. My friend was amazing and practised lots of different hair styles on me but I didn’t decide on which style to go for until the day before the wedding and on the day it looked perfect. I was so grateful to her for being patient with me.
What other little touches did you have?
My favourite touch of the day was the Polaroid station we had. I had bought a Polaroid camera with film and left it for people to take photos and hang them up on the board. It was nice to get some silly photos and photos of people in the evening. It’s a great reminder of the day. The other thing that was a great hit was the flip flops. I had bought 30 or so pairs of flip flops from Primark in different sizes. This was great for the ladies that had worn their heels all day and meant they could dance more in the evening.
What kind of cake did you have?
I originally always wanted a naked cake until I went to a vintage wedding fair and saw the work of Amelie’s Kitchen. Helen’s cakes were amazing, so detailed and so vintage looking. After a cancellation our date became available and I booked up straight away. It tasted amazing!
What kind of evening entertainment did you go for?
Lewis used to DJ so we knew music would be easy to organise and we chose a friend of Lewis’ to DJ for us. We asked everyone to choose a song that would make them get up and dance and it was so nice hearing people say “this is my song”. We also hired our LOVE letters for the dance-floor.
How did you feel on receiving your wedding photos?
I was so exited when we got the email through for the photos. I was quite sad when the wedding was over and it was so nice re-living the day again through the photos. Clare captured all the moments perfectly, telling the whole story of the day. I can’t wait to look at them in 20 years time and still be just as in love.
And now for the photos….
Wedding Photography Suffolk
Alex and Gareth chose the stunning Grade I listed house Glemham Hall for their nuptials and what a beautiful venue this is. It’s got the grand factor inside with huge windows and large formal rooms, and the most stunning grounds with rose garden and a long sweeping driveway. There’s almost too much choice from a photography perspective, but I wasn’t complaining! I was just so glad the forecast rain didn’t arrive.
Alex wore a stunning lace gown by Sophia Tolli with Jenny Packham shoes, plus a fabulous full length veil. She looked absolutely stunning!
The marquee had been decorated with a nod to the Secret Garden, with hand-cut garden flowers in pastel colours, placed within customised jam jars, created by Myrtle & Mint. The wedding favours were mini jars of jam, handmade by the mothers of the bride and groom, such a unique and personal idea! I absolutely love marquee receptions for how much natural light there is, which is perfect for detail shots!
After the wedding breakfast, all the guests enjoyed ice-creams served by Alex & Gareth from a vintage ice-cream bike by Benecci Ice Cream Bikes.
Alex’s mother is from the Philippines, and many of the extended family had flown over for the occasion including Alex’s cousin who was very proud to give her away.
Gareth and Alex both beamed from the moment they saw each other as Alex made her grand entrance down the huge stairway. And the smiles continued all day long! It was a privilege to part of such a lovely wedding.
What the Clients Said…
On receiving their gallery, Alex sent me this lovely message….
“We were so amazed that these are finished already! Thank you so much! We couldn’t wait to see them and when they came through we were really excited to sit down and go through them. We absolutely love them (we knew we would!). Thank you again for all your hard work on the day and post-wedding. We are so happy that we have these beautiful photos to keep and look back on.”
If you are looking for a Suffolk Wedding Photographer, or photographer for Glemham Hall, please do get in touch, I would love to hear from you.