Nadia & David – Oxnead Hall Wedding
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…
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