Our own wedding.

In January this year, after 19 years, we finally tied the knot ourselves. Working in weddings for the last 15 years had always made it difficult to imagine organising our own and not feeling like we were at work. But last year, after a long wait, we welcomed our daughter into the world and we knew we needed to seal the deal and give me the family surname. So, at last, it was time to organise a wedding of our own.

We had a clear idea of the people we wanted to work with in order for our day to run smoothly. So after we found the stunning venue, Hill Farm Barn in Massingham, we set about getting in contact with many of our “wedding world” friends. Social media handles will be added to the bottom of the blog.

First off, the dress. This was always going to be from the beautiful Bottom Drawer Bridal Boutique near Saturday Market Place Kings Lynn. What girl doesn’t walk past those windows and dream of their wedding day. Having known Victoria through work for a number of years and even doing a cocktail reception for her opening night many moons ago, Ive seen first hand her passion and love for what she does. Victoria was amazing from start to finish. I had no idea where to start or what kind of thing I wanted. She was so helpful and accommodating and made me feel completely at ease. And most importantly I got the dress and veil of my dreams!

Leading up to the day, Tracy from our very own Rudd Events set up the barn, with a little help from myself and my bridesmaids. She couldn’t have done better at bringing my vision to life. Her dry floral arrangements were out of this world and she completely understood the look I was going for. The general plan was large dry flower arrangements, disco balls (everywhere!) and glass candle vases. Our colour scheme alongside this was emerald green and sage green. There’s no other way of putting it. She nailed it. Her attention to detail and eye for design has always amazed me. Myself and the bridesmaids set the tables with all tableware, again, from ourselves at Rudd Events, including new peices that are now on the website to hire. Tracy finished the table with amazing centre pieces. She also filled little gaps all over the venue. Alcoves, the present table, the fireplace. You name it, she decorated it.

The outside cow shed was transformed into a lovely snug area by John and Peter at Rudd Marquees, adding heaters and marquee lining to keep the cold out as much as possible. They also added a black and white checkered dance floor and stage to the barn ready for people to party the night away!

We chose glass look chairs from Anglia Elite which were delivered and unpacked for us on Friday and picked up on Monday. The chairs were great and really finished off the look I imagined. Round tables were supplied by Rudd Marquees.

Our friend Penny at Synched Events created our signs for us. This included a table plan, a menu board, welcome sign with a time line and a couple of other small signs dotted around. She created these in our colour theme and even drew little details such as pampas grass and disco balls to finish them off.  She also hired to us a few extra disco balls, just incase we didn’t have enough already!

We stayed for the whole long weekend on the beautiful grounds of Hill Farm Barn in three cottages that sleep 31 people in total, meaning both families and the immediate wedding party could share in the excitement all together. This was very important to us, if we were finally going to do it we were going to make the most of it! The barn itself is stunning. A completely open venue meaning you can bring in whoever you want, to make you’re day exactly how you want it. This also was a very important selling point to us.

The day started at 7am with the arrival of the lovely Amy and Jo for makeup and Suzie for hair. They all worked tirelessly to get a very large party of very noisy, excited ladies and children ready for the day. And my word they achieved it. If I do say so myself we all looked amazing!

Cherrelle, our photographer arrived and snapped away from the moment she walked in. We have known Cherrelle for many years and it really put us at ease to know our day was being captured by her, although she insisted it’s more nerve wracking for her to snap friends than it is strangers! She was incredible and we can’t recommend her enough. She wasn’t just a photographer, in those earlier hours especially. She was putting button holes on for people, running between houses for us, even sourcing tampons for someone who came unequipped! Her ability to capture people just at the right moment is perfect. We have literally hundreds of amazing photos to treasure forever. Being a friend and being the wife of one of Ryans life long friends meant that Cherrelle was a guest as well as our photographer. We were extremely grateful that she did not put her camera down all night, even when we kept telling her to. As a result of this we also now have a great photographic timeline of the antics that went on on the dance floor!

Bouquets and pocket flowers arrived from Floral Sisters. These were absolutely stunning. I had a large bouquet of dry flowers, roses and greenery. Older bridesmaids had a slightly smaller version of the same, smaller bridesmaids were a little smaller again. Our daughter had a gorgeous flower crown. This unfortunately never made it out of the house because she outright refused to let it anywhere near her head and then further refused to even hold it! This did result in some very funny photos to show her one day though! Ryan and the groomsmen had something a little different and new. Instead of button holes they had pocket flowers. These looked incredible and so effective.

That aisle walk is one of the most daunting but exciting things I’ve ever done. But seeing Ryan and our daughter at the front, hearing my brother playing our song on his guitar and seeing my four nieces and two best friends walk down ahead of me made my heart melt. By the time it was the turn of my dad and I, all the butterflies were gone. The biggest smile emerged on my face and never left all day.

Heidi, the owner of the barn and accommodation, is lovely and is also a celebrant. Having got to know us over the time leading up to the wedding, she was able to write and carry out a perfect, personal wedding ceremony for us. She did a wonderful job and made everything feel light hearted and fun, not formal and scary. We also asked two close friends to do us a reading of their choice which was beautiful. As we walked back down the aisle and outside for canapés and confetti we were greeted by Sweetie and Coco. Resident, extremely friendly deer who had come to see what all the fuss was about. Guests loved this, stroking them and posing for photos with them.

Now this is where our own team come in. Our incredible team at Rudd Events gave up their time to ensure our day ran without a hitch. They worked tirelessly to serve everybody and keep them fed and watered all day and night. Our chefs worked all day Friday and returned first thing Saturday morning to prepare. After the ceremony we had reception drinks and canapés. Our choice of canapés were honey mustard sausages, lamb kofta balls, tempura prawns and tomato crostinis. Our chefs got this spot on and they went down a storm! During this time guests were entertained by Jackdaw. An incredible two piece acoustic band. Cherrelle took Ryan and myself off for some photos alone where I surprised him by wearing a hand painted “Mrs Rudd” leather jacket painted by Tanya at Daydreamer Creative Studio. There were a lot of Mrs Rudd’s at our wedding and they were all very jealous!

Everyone was seated and it was time for our wedding breakfast. There’s a lot of pressure on you when this is what you do for a living and, as expected our chefs smashed it. We had parsnip and apple soup to start, accompanied by sourdough from Norbury’s in Kings Lynn. Main course was sirloin steak from Priors of West Lynn with fondant potatoes and tender stem with jugs of peppercorn sauce on the table. Vegetarian option was a wild mushroom risotto with a parmesan crisp. For dessert we had chocolate mousse with vanilla cream cheese and freeze dried raspberries. Our waitressing staff did a fantastic job of getting the food out swiftly, clearing away and keeping waters and wines topped up. It was easy for us to relax and actually see what a great job we do from the other side!

After speeches it was already time for the evening! When people say the day goes quickly they’re not lying! The bar was open with free flowing drinks all night. Local band Bear Club kept the dance floor full from the moment they started until the party finished at midnight. These guys are incredible. The fact that they were able to perform our first dance made the song even more special and their set lists are fantastic!

For our evening food we had BBQ pulled pork rolls, prepared and put into takeaway boxes for people to grab and go. We chose not to have a wedding cake. In our personal opinion these often get forgotten or wasted so we had our two favourite bakes, brownies and lemon drizzles, baked and prepared by our mums, in bite sized pieces displayed alongside the rolls. These all went down a treat!

And then that was that. Before we knew it we were dancing to Oasis (performed by Bear Club) with a circle of our closest family and friends surrounding us. Then as Semisonic played us out with Closing Time people said their goodbyes and we locked the doors ready to begin our next chapter as Mr and Mrs Rudd.

We can’t thank everyone involved enough in bringing our day together. We hand picked the best team of people to trust to make our day the best it could be. There’s a reason these people all do what they do and love it, because they’re so bloody great at it. We really did have the best day of our lives.

Food, decor, tableware and bar @ruddeventcatering

Venue and celebrant @hillfarmmassingham

Photographer @cherrelleblakephotography

Dancefloor, stage, outdoor area and tables @ruddmarquees

Dress @thebottomdrawerbridal

Leather jacket @daydreamer_creative_studio

Suits @coneys_kingslynn

Bridesmaid dresses @jjshouseofficial

Bouquets and pocket flowers @floralsistas

Signs @synchedevents

Hair @hairbysuzie_

Makeup @awrightmau

Nails @jessies_nailsandupdos

Daytime band @jackdawweddingduo

Evening band @bearclubbanduk

Chairs @angliaelite

Table wines and reception fizz @adnams

Meat @priorsofwestlynn

Bread @norburysfinefoods