Hannah & Darren Image by Matt Horan Photography
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Vintage Romance at Norwood Park {The Wedding of Hannah & Darren}


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Issue 39: Blue Skies & Happy Days

Real Weddings

Vintage Romance at Norwood Park {The Wedding of Hannah & Darren}

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We love receiving weddings, even more so when they use lots of Save the Date wedding suppliers! The lovely couple Hannah and Darren had this to say…

“After visiting the Save the Date wedding fairs and being a huge fan of your magazine, I thought I’d email you following my wedding, as it was thanks to Save the Date that I found lots of fantastic wedding suppliers. From cars to band, from light up letters  to the photographer, I found the perfect supplier thanks to your publications and fairs.”

Hannah and Darren’s wedding had a lovely romantic vintage theme created with vases, birdcages and candle holders all sourced by the couple themselves. Despite a few mishaps, Hannah and Darren’s day was a something they would never forget!

Over to Hannah to tell you all about it…

“We got married at our local church, St Giles Balderton, which is a stone’s throw from our home, and where different generations of our family were married previously. This was followed by a reception at Norwood Park, Southwell. After visiting Norwood for the first time we knew it was the venue for us. With its beautiful tranquil grounds with the house overlooking the lake and apple orchard it was just simply perfect. The stunning period home is beautiful inside and out and oozes elegance and style. Upon viewing the gallery we fell in love with the painted sky ceiling, and the courtyard with the twinkling ceiling lights was simply beautiful!

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The main house showcases beautiful high ceilings, spiral staircase and gorgeous chandeliers with lovely large windows allowing lots of light. We had exclusive use of the house and its 12 bedrooms which allowed family and friends to stay over and enjoy breakfast with us the next day, as husband and wife. We always wanted a private period house that had the ‘WOW’ factor and when searching we found that many were gloomy inside with dark decor, carpets and wood panelling and we was wanting light airy and bright, Norwood ticked all the boxes.

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The dress, now where do I begin! When I began my search for my dress I didn’t expect it would result in me appearing on East Midlands Today news!

From my first day as a ‘fiancée’ I began my search for ‘The Dress’ and after many hours searching for wedding dresses on the internet, and lots of ideas pinned on Pinterest I had an idea of what I was looking for. Then along with my mum and bridesmaids we visited a number of shops in search of the gown of my dreams. Months passed and after trying on dozens of gowns I still hadn’t found the one. The wedding shop visits then became a mother and daughter affair and after travelling all the way to Derby for a dress appointment, there it was. In the window of the shop alone under a flower arch was the one! Without even trying it on I knew it was the dress of my dreams! It was completely different to what I had been looking for, but when you’ve found the one you know, and when I tried it on it only confirmed it was the dress for me. I felt like Carrie in ‘Sex in the City’ the dress was stylish, timeless and better yet it had pockets! Unfortunately for me my dress story doesn’t end there.

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Our wedding was a little DIY as we wanted it to be ‘us’ and to reflect who we are. We also wanted to try and save some money, as having 3 boys under the age of 8, and in the process of completing the purchase of a new home, every penny counts! We were wanting our day to be relaxed and fun for ourselves and all our guests with décor reflecting a vintage chic feel.

We are blessed to have some talented friends and family and my maid of honour Rachael, from Sweet Madeline Bakery did our beautiful wedding cake and mouth-watering shortbread cookie favours. I sourced and purchased all the vases, birdcages, candle holders and sweet table jars over several months to spread the cost. We wanted to create a romantic atmosphere with decorations that would catch the light and sparkle.

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June, a family friend who does a lot of work for Floral Media, kindly did all of our gorgeous flowers, she understood exactly what we were wanting and made the venue look stunning. My mum did our table plan on a vintage style window mirror I picked up on-line and I created a family wedding tree, by framing some old family wedding photos and staging them in the venue.

We wanted something we could hang on the wall to look back on and remind us of our special day and those that celebrated with us, so I ordered a drop top guest box with hearts which guests could sign and later be displayed at home.

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We wanted to ensure the children would be well entertained as it is a long day, so we got some lovely personalised activity packs from Dotty Hens along with some bubbles and wands from The Wedding of my Dreams. Also, knowing that the rest of the wedding party would be enthusiastic to play dress up after having a few drinks, we booked The Pop-Up Booth. They provide a personalised photo booth experience and excellent quality pictures not only for us but for our guests to take away too. I’d highly recommend having a photo booth, you get some great photos of your guests later in the evening when all inhibitions go out the window.

The rest of our suppliers we sourced from the Save the Date wedding fair and magazine. Our super stylish wedding car ‘Charlotte’ was supplied by Dennison Classic Cars, and campervans ‘Polly’ and ‘Bronty’ by CW Campervans and Beetledays all of which were stunning inside and out and family run providing a lovely personal service, I can’t recommend them enough. Liz from Mad Philomena provided our light up H&D which looked fantastic at the side of the dance floor.

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After seeing Adam Thomas and the Souljers preform at ‘The Wedding Event with a Difference‘ they were booked! They certainly didn’t let us down, they were fantastic! Everyone was up on the dance floor and wanting to know who they were. The grandmothers who were due to be taken home at 10pm were still dancing away until the small hours. How the band manage to dance around and put on the performance they do whilst sounding pitch perfect is beyond me.

Our photographer was the super talented Matt Horan, accompanied by his lovely wife Rachel. They captured our day beautifully and fitted in like part of the family. As both Darren and I aren’t ones for posing in front of a camera (unless it involves a selfie stick) we wanted a photographer to capture the day naturally without imposing. We really couldn’t have been more at ease with them and their approach and we’re thrilled with the results.

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Our Bridesmaids dresses took hours of searching and lots of dresses were ordered and returned. We didn’t want the bridesmaids to have traditional bridesmaid style dresses which you would only wear once. We were hoping to choose something that they would want to wear again, and with my dress in mind I wanted them to have a mid-length dress, ideally with some embellishment to tie in with our romantic vintage theme. Having lots of bridesmaids all different heights and sizes, and trying to choose something which is flattering to all is no mean feat! Thankfully with only a couple of months to go, I came across Jenny Packham’s collection at Debehams and they were just what I had envisioned.

Navy suits were hired from Wise Guys Formal Wear, Newark, who were very helpful and allowed us to change the waistcoats for double-breasted grey ones to better fit the wedding colour scheme. Hiring suits for 3 small boys would have stretched the purse strings too far, so we chose silver grey linen shorts and waistcoat sets from Ladybird. With the addition of blue polka dot bow ties everyone agreed the boys looked adorable.

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And as for my dress. The day before I was due to go for my final fitting (8 weeks before the wedding) I went to call the store to confirm the time of my appointment to receive a dead phone line and went on-line to discover a BBC radio news report headlined ‘Brides left without their gowns as shop suddenly shuts its doors.’ Yes you guessed it I was left gown-less and as I had paid for my dress in cash, in full! I was also out of pocket!

Thankfully the story does have a happy ever after thanks to Brides & Gowns of Derby, who managed to source the dress I had originally ordered in America, which I was then able to purchase and have shipped across to them where they looked after me and did my alterations. I then became a local celebrity for the day after appearing on East Midlands news to tell my story. At least I have a good tale to tell in years to come.

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To any future brides out there, wedding insurance is a must, looking back now, how I wish I had got some. And, as for your wedding day, it really is true what they say, the day is over in a blink of an eye. Take at least 5 minutes during the day to sit back and appreciate all the hard work and planning. Enjoy every second!”

{List of Fabulous Suppliers}

Venue – Norwood Park
Photographer – Matt Horan
Dress – Brides & Gowns of Derby
Bridesmaid Dresses – Jenny Packham
Boys Outfits – Ladybird
Menswear – Wise Guys Formal Wear
Kids Entertainment – The Wedding of my DreamsDotty Hens
Entertainment – Adam Thomas and the Souljers
Cars – Dennison Classic CarsCW CampervansBeetledays
Light up Letters – Mad Philomena
Photo Booth – The Pop-Up Booth
Flowers – Floral Media
Cake – Sweet Madeline Bakery

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