Vanessa & Matt
Pretty purple hues make the perfect accent
to this country barn wedding…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHERINE ASHDOWN
You could say that this couple set the standard when it comes to couple goals – after all they are named Mr and Mrs Fitt! “He told me his surname when we first met and I wouldn’t believe him until he showed me his driving license – I thought he was being big headed! Little did I know that 12 years later I would become Mrs Fitt, too!” laughs Vanessa.
Matt proposed while they were holidaying in Tunisia to celebrate ten years together, waiting until their return to give his bride-to-be her ring, which was just as well as bride Vanessa had taken a sneaky peek in the safe to check! “One week later, Matt took me to the Norfolk coast with two of our closest friends and gave me the ring on the pier. I was so excited I nearly dropped it through the boards!”
Vanessa’s Morilee gown came from bridal boutique Cinderella’s in King’s Lynn. “It featured a lace and beaded bodice which was fitted to the hips before flaring out into a full tulle skirt.
I loved the intricate, vintage looking beading around the sweetheart neckline that flowed all the way down the back. I knew my dress was the one when I first tried it on, but I didn’t get ‘the feeling’ until our wedding day.
I felt incredibly special and I’d had my heart set on the style since before we got engaged, it was perfect!”
The bride added a handmade headpiece from the same boutique and Jenny Packham shoes that perfectly matched the beaded neckline of her gown. “Matt gifted me diamond earrings that completely blew me away, sending them to me via his best man and usher the night before the wedding.”Melissa Abel stepped in as Vanessa’s makeup artist using mainly MAC products and Tracey Ward took care of the hair styling. “They were both incredible and really listened to what I wanted. Both of them went out of their way to make me feel beautiful.”
Groom Matt chose traditional tails for his aisle style, wearing a Ted Baker grey suit hired from Moss Bros. And, while he was the definition of a well-groomed groom, Vanessa has a wedding day confession to make: “I don’t really remember what he looked like when I first saw him – I was so nervous about tripping down the aisle!”
Four bridesmaids stunned in dusky purple floor-length gowns, although finding them did not prove to be simple. “I struggled with the bridesmaid dresses and spent so long searching for them. Finally I found the ideal dresses in Debenhams, featuring V-necks and pretty ruffle shoulders. I then gifted my girls a silver necklace and earrings, also sourced from Debenhams, to accessorise with.”
When the big moment came for the bride, she was joined by not one but two, as both her father and her stepfather walked with her down the aisle.
“I know it’s rather unconventional, but it was so important for me to have them both by my side. They’ve both played such an important part in my life and I just couldn’t choose between them.”
The speeches soon followed and were quite the show-stopping affair. “Matt began by referencing Tom from McFly’s amazing wedding speech video – he said he liked the idea of getting millions of views on YouTube! Then his best man pulled out his guitar and started to play the same song – I was caught completely off guard and was cringing at the thought of Matt singing to me. He stopped just before the lyrics began and said, “then I thought better of it” and the whole room was in fits of laughter!
SHOP extra long burn tea lights and candle holders
Our barn venue at Southwood Hall, Norfolk, was so beautiful that we didn’t go overboard on the decorations. I added hearts, pompoms and candlesticks and had a lot of help from Angels by the Sea, a local hire and styling business run by my friend Chantal. She has such an eye for detail and helped me choose the perfect pieces from her hire collection. I’m not creative and am incredibly indecisive, so the real weddings in Wedding Ideas really helped me to see how other couples brought their ideas together.” Sarah Martin from Amity Flowers provided the blooms for the bouquets, also supplying the flowers that featured in the table centres styled by Angels by the Sea.
SHOP Log slices
The couple’s three-tier square cake was clad with white chocolate cigarellos and sugar flowers for a stylish and flavoursome finish.
Continuing the foodie theme, Vanessa and Matt also gifted guests homemade popcorn cones with toffee sauce!
Just one word of caution remains: “Be organised! We left a lot of our planning until six months before the big day. Last minute decisions equal stress and panic so plan ahead and relax. In the weeks before the wedding I became so anxious about the little things that really didn’t matter on the day. Your guests won’t notice if the ribbons on the favours aren’t all identical: they’re there to celebrate not judge your craftsmanship.”
VENUE Southwood Hall, Norfolk
DRESS Morilee at Cinderella’s, King’s Lynn
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Debenhams
GROOM Ted Baker at Moss Bros
ACCESSORIES Jenny Packham
HAIR Tracey Ward
MAKEUP Melissa Abel
DÉCOR Angels by the Sea, Norfolk
FLOWERS Sarah Martin from Amity Flowers