Jan 10, 2020

Relaxed Elms Barn Wedding | Caro and James

Caro and James’s Relaxed Elms Barn Wedding in Norfolk

I met Caro and James when I photographed their friend’s wedding and I was thrilled when they booked me to photograph their Relaxed Elms Barn Wedding. From pre-wedding croquet to a jam-packed dance floor, Caro and James’ day was full of laughter and fun. But it didn’t stop there. We also met up for a post-wedding de-brief BBQ. Hangovers were nursed and friendships made for life!

Here’s Caro and James’s wedding in their own words

You felt like one of the family

Here’s what Caro and James had to say about working with Lifeline Photography!

“We asked you to do our wedding because you photographed Livi and Tom’s wedding and we loved you! It’s strange to think that we had only met you once before because you already felt like a member of the family on our wedding day. You were marvellous throughout; Everyone was happy and calm, you winched me into my dress (thank you!), and you went above and beyond. We got literally thousands of beautiful photographs.

Why we picked Elms Barn for our relaxed Norfolk wedding

We picked Elms Barn because it was in Norfolk, local to James’s family. It had lovely gardens and accommodation on site. The room itself was bright but also a blank slate for us to decorate as we wished. A marquee provided an indoor space where people could wait and chat whilst the room was changed over. This was very important to us, as we didn’t want people cowering under umbrellas outside whilst the tables were cleared! The manager, Victoria, really impressed us when we looked around and I asked her to run front of house on the day because I really felt like she was a safe pair of hands.

Everything worked well! The marquee was surprisingly useful, we had just thought of it as a wet-weather alternative but people used it throughout and it was great for those who wanted to escape the music in the main room and have a proper conversation. The T-Shape between the marquee and the barn worked so nicely, there was a real sense of ceremony when you moved between the two.

A Diane Legrand Wedding dress, Ted Baker Morning Suits and Simple bridesmaid dresses

James and the groomsmen wore grey Ted Baker morning suits from Moss Bros. James bought all of them funky socks from The Silly Sock company and cufflinks with their initials from Not on the Highstreet.

Bridesmaids wore made to measure dresses from Simplebridesmaiddresses.com. They looked glorious on the day but we had months of back and forth and it was possibly the most stressful part of the wedding, so I can’t recommend this company.

My wedding dress came from Paverley Bridal in Wimbledon and was Diane Legrand 6221. Wedding shoes were from Office. I wore a ring which my grandmother was given for her 21st birthday as my something old and something blue. My something borrowed was a necklace that Amelia and I had given Livi for her wedding. It was very special.

We all did our own makeup. Our hair was done by the lovely Amelia Garwood – https://ameliagarwood.com. I found Amelia by searching for stylists in the area. I’d certainly recommend her to anyone else.

I had hairpieces made by TiarasbyBecky who I found on Etsy. I was so happy with them, the hair vine that she made for me was particularly beautiful.

The wedding styling

All of the flowers were done by Teena, the in house florist at Elms. It’s non-optional if you want to book there but she did
a fab job so we were happy. The main flowers were purple and white calla lilies and astromelias for the bouquets, buttonholes and venue flowers. The colour scheme was champagne and purple so beyond those two flowers I let her get on with it. The floral arch was gorgeous and really lifted the whole marquee

Our cake was made my Imogen Davies at Sugar Buttons Creative . The flavours were Red Velvet, Carrot Cake and a Lemon Champagne that Imogen recommended. The cake was amazing, we didn’t have anything left the next day. We kept the styling simple with purple and champagne coloured ribbons but we also asked her to create a bubble effect decoration to keep in with the champagne theme.

We tried to keep everything classic and in line with the champagne theme. Our table Plan came from an Etsy template and was picked to look gold and bubbly. All of the Stationery came from Papier and we went with classic french script.

We made the champagne centrepieces with my Uncle Jon and my Mum. It was months of drinking champagne to get the raw materials and then two days of setting concrete, spray painting, glue gunning and general creative fun! It was a big push at the end but I absolutely loved it. Two really special elements for me were the bespoke labels that Jon made for the bottles and the champagne box post box. James loves English Sparkling wine so we had this for drinks after the ceremony

The wedding music

All of the music during the ceremony was from Mozart’s clarinet concerto in A. My dad and I both love the clarinet and I really wanted to walk down the aisle to a piece that my dad also loved. The different movements of the concerto lend themselves perfectly to weddings with lots of build-up and energy.

Our first dance was How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding. We don’t have a special song, so we were listening to endless YouTube playlists to try and find one, which didn’t work. One day we were sat in the car listening to Magic and this song came on and we thought yep, that’ll do!

Our band were The Hype and we found them on Warble Entertainment. They did two sets and also did the We’d only listened to a few snippets of their music so we were blown away by quite how good they were on the night. Their song selection was the perfect balance for our mix of guests and they had the dancefloor packed all night. They were also very professional which we appreciated in such a young group.

The food!

Our catering was done by Elms, also non-optional when you book but again the food was delicious so we were happy. We had been told by friends who had been to a wedding there that it was excellent, and it was one of the reasons the venue was on our shortlist. The lamb main course was a highlight but really it was all super tasty. We were also told by the veggies that it was the best vegetarian wedding food that they’d ever had.

Wedding planning advice for other couples

I had an excel spreadsheet that kept me sane, I knew when payments were due and what was still needed and who had RSVP’d and what their dietary requirements were all in one place. It was my baby and I loved it. Get the bridesmaids dresses done as early as you can!

On the day surround yourself with the people you want there, not the people who think that they should be there. I have been around so many stressed-out brides because they are dealing with drama on their wedding morning. I absolutely loved getting ready, it was like a fabulous sleepover party.

Getting each other little (inexpensive!) presents that we opened on our own in the morning was a lovely way to start the day.

Our favourite bits

Getting ready, a house full of joy, the pre-wedding croquet
Our little niece, Daisy, objecting in the middle of the ceremony
My Uncle Peter tearing up whilst reading his poem
Mrs Aldridge nailing Pride and Prejudice
The champagne corks popping all around for the toasts
Ties around heads on the dancefloor and always had lots of people dancing
Dancing to Delaney’s Donkey with the family
We had a BBQ the next day and I am so glad that we asked Hannah and Jen to stay for that as well because they took photos of some truly beautiful moments

If you’re looking for a photographer for your Elms Barn wedding, I’d love to chat so get in touch.



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