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A flower-and-foliage-filled wedding in Norfolk

A flower-and-foliage-filled wedding in Norfolk

Written by Laura Atri

Celia and Tom adorned their beautiful barn celebration with endlessly gorgeous details


Celia Powell and Tom Speller, both 28 and both lawyers, said ‘I do’ at St Mary’s Church in Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, followed by a reception at a private barn next to Baconsthorpe Castle, also in Norfolk.

Budget: £30,000

Flower budget: £1,800

Tom and I met at law school in London. We were on holiday in Salcombe when we got engaged. When we returned to our hotel room we found a snail making its way across our carpet – not the most romantic end to the night, but definitely funny!

We got married in Baconsthorpe, a tiny village in Norfolk where my parents have a cottage – my brother was married in the same church.

We wanted a venue that was personal to us, but neither of our parents’ gardens were suitable. Luckily, a kind neighbour offered to lend us his old dairy barn, which is next to a lake and some beautiful ruins. The flowers were really important to me, but I did have to convince Tom to leave room in the budget for them!

The church was beautiful already, so I kept it simple with garlands of hydrangea on the columns and a few window arrangements, which we took to the reception. We ordered the foliage for the frames above the tables from the local garden centre who supplied the hired trees, and arranged it ourselves.

I wanted to keep my flowers quite simple, as we didn’t have a huge amount in our budget for them. The bridesmaid dresses were grey and there was a general grey theme to our marquee, so I asked our florist for lots of pink and cream flowers, and plenty of foliage.

We decided on sweet avalanche, talea, and avalanche jewel roses, astilbe, veronica, and lots of eucalyptus.

The flower girls wore garlands of waxflowers and carried posies of the same flowers I had in my bouquet.

We hired olive trees and big pots of hydrangea for the marquee, and hung frames covered in eucalyptus and other foliage above the tables, which we then hung glass tealight holders from. On the tables, we had jam jars of more of the same flowers.

I loved my bouquet and got some of the roses and eucalyptus made into a paperweight after the wedding, so I see them every day.

We had a ‘last dance’ as well as a first dance, and everyone was belting out Elton John! We wanted the evening to be very relaxed, with lots of dancing and an open bar.

We also had a tent where we put out cheese and biscuits, tea, coffee and a few sofas and a firepit for people who didn’t want to dance. We left at 12:30 and people were still on the dancefloor. 

There were so many funny moments. Going to the loo in a massive dress was a hilarious operation and I had to get help from at least three friends each time! I’ll always remember the end of the night, when the taxi we’d booked to collect us from my parent’s house didn’t turn up and we had to get a lift to our hotel from Tom’s sister’s babysitter. I was crammed into her tiny boot in my wedding dress and my trainers, clutching a bottle of champagne – I think she thought we were mad.

My tip for brides-to-be: Work out what you can realistically do yourself once you have decided on your ideas. Then think about what will work at your venue. And don’t be afraid to ask for help or call in favours!

Steal their style!

PHOTOGRAPHER: Tatum Reid FLORIST: Passion of Flowers CEREMONY VENUE: St Mary’s Church DRESS: Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Two Birds GROOMSWEAR: Lipman & Sons and Favourbrook CAKE: Julie Abbs Catering () BAND: The Joe Ringer Band VIDEOGRAPHER: Capture Media Weddings HAIR: Tracey Ward MAKE-UP: Emily at Love Moi Makeup 


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