When Fi and Jamie wanted to have a more relaxed documentary wedding photographer for their wedding we were thrilled. I (Jo) have known Fi since our university days and consider her pretty much a soul sister, so we knew this would be a fun, intimate shoot.
Fi and Jamie chose Chaucer Barn in Norfolk for as the venue for their relaxed documentary wedding photography. The Barn itself was gifted by Geoffrey Chaucer (aka The Father of English Literature) to one of his sons, and considering that Fi and Jamie originally met while studying English at Leeds, the literary connection was rather fitting! The venue was a great antidote to some of the stuffier hotels they had looked at which had strict rules about when the party had to finish. Chaucer Barn gave them the flexibility to do things their way, and stay up as late as they wanted! There was a real intimacy about the venue too: the kitchen became the dance floor, with lots of social spaces and comfy sofas dotted around the barn. This, and the fact they could make the place their own, adding their little touches throughout, meant it felt more like inviting people home, and made ‘getting married’ a little less intimidating.
The wedding colour scheme was influenced by Chaucer Barn itself, particularly a huge stripy sofa of bright reds, oranges and pinks. Fi’s mum grew up in India and inspired her with a love of bold, clashing colours. As she lost her mother during our time at university, Fi wanted to pay tribute to her with an Indian theme, from bouquets to little Indian outfits for the flower girls and pageboy. Fi’s Indian Auntie Zehra was her mother’s best friend and was a surprise guest at the wedding. Auntie Zehra had been secretly invited by Jamie and Fi’s Dad, and it was an emotional moment when she appeared, much to Fi’s surprise! Fi’s sister Zehra is named after her Auntie and funnily enough both Zehras are graphic designers and helped to plan the wedding theme. Her sister designed all of the wedding stationery and her auntie came up with the theme of Indian kites, shipping over a big box of colourful paper kites to decorate the venue with.
The flowers continued the Indian colour scheme.
Auntie Zehra floated gerberas in pinks, reds and oranges in fish bowls for each table. This theme was echoed throughout the house and the garden in mini fish bowls on the steps leading to the barn, and in big copper Indian bowls. Their confetti was made of dried rose and marigold petals, which resurfaced at another friend’s wedding when Jamie took out his hanky of his suit, and the confetti flew out! They gave Indian jewellery to the little guests, and a put selection of Indian bindis on all the tables for guests to wear during the meal.
Sticking with the Indian theme, they found a very talented Indian caterer in Norfolk. Fi and Jamie love Indian food and Madhu at Ethnic Fusion provided some of the best they had ever tasted. They picked their own wines to go with the spicy food, after an extensive tasting session over a curry with Fi’s dad and brother. Instead of having a single wedding cake, Fi and Jamie invited guests to participate in a bake off, and everyone really rose to the occasion! There was remarkable array of delicious home-made cakes which we all sampled with glee and voted for the winner!
Fi doesn’t consider herself to be a very traditional person and had always felt daunted at the thought of both wearing a wedding dress, and going shopping for one, not to mention the whole marriage thing! Theirs was a long engagement and it was completely by chance, that one day, ill in bed, she spotted an advert with a gorgeous champagne, vintage style silk dress, with a fishtail and scooped back by Belle and Bunty. Fi knew instantly it was the dress, and after a few minutes thought, she wandered downstairs and suggested that they actually go ahead and get married! Three months later they did, and she wore that very dress. She paired it with a blush feather shrug, some silver sandals, her mum’s Indian gold bangles and pearl drop earrings – and it all felt gloriously Hollywood! Fi’s look was completed by beautiful vintage hair styling by incredible stylist Flamingo Amy, who also did my hair in victory rolls as a special treat!
There was plenty of music through the day. I sang “Like Someone in love” as Fi walked down the aisle, accompanied on the guitar by ace singer-songwriter Alexander McKay. I was returning the favour as Fi sang “God Only Knows” at mine and Guille’s wedding! There were lovely readings by Fi’s sister Anna and her friends Harriet and Nada. Later in the day Fi and Jamie strutted their stuff to Pulp Fiction Classic, “You never can tell” for their first dance. I love it when couples really go for it on their first dance and safe to say they set the bar pretty high with their funky moves. After that, wedding band Funk Tank took over and played a great set that had us all dancing till the early hours.
Fi has quite a bit of advice for couples planning their wedding:
The day flies by so, try and schedule a few moments for yourselves on the day so you can collect your thoughts and remember everything.
For brides, get your bridesmaid to reapply your lipstick for all the photos as you will be kissing it off all the time throughout the day. And resist rushing off down the aisle when you are told it is time to go. Pause, take in, and enjoy the moment with whoever is escorting you, before the event kicks off.
Planning a wedding in 3 months from start to finish, is doable, even in the midst of exams and house purchases. It saves a lot of fuss in the long run, so go for it!
Finally my one regret was not having a wedding film done. We were so happy with our relaxed documentary wedding photography and Jo and Guille also make beautiful wedding films but we considered this too late in the day.
You heard it here first! Congratulations guys!
Venue: Chaucer Barn, Norfolk
Bridal Gown: Belle & Bunty
Bridal Hair: Flamingo Amy
Groom’s Suit: John Lewis
Caterer: Ethnic Fusion
Marquee Hire: Party On Marquees
Wedding Rings Designer: Mark Nuell
Wedding Band: Funk Tank
Guitarist: Alexander McKay
Singer: Jo Howard