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Wedding of the Week: Sarah Hitcham and Kim Balls

18 Dec 2017

The bright and colourful wedding of Sarah Hitcham and Kim Balls was focused on food, fun, friends and family

How did you meet?

Through a mutual friend, who was maid of honour at our wedding.

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Tell us about the proposal.

I came home from work on the Thursday evening before Easter, and Kim had decorated the house with tealights, and had one of our favourite songs playing on repeat in the kitchen (Jimmy Eat World ‘Hear You Me’). He put string from the kitchen door, zig-zagged through the house and upstairs to the bedroom and pegged little envelopes for me to open along the way, which he had drawn pictures of all the things we’d done since we met (first dates, holidays). They led upstairs where Kim was waiting with an envelope in his pocket – it said ‘look behind you’, then he got down on one knee. We then went out for dinner where our parents were waiting for us.

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

Rustic, country themed with country fete games. We played on our surname a little and had ‘Balls’ themed table names, and round cake pops for our cake toppers. The colours we chose were mainly oranges and greens, but we wanted it very bright and colourful.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We chose Waxham Barn as we always wanted a barn wedding and this is a gorgeous listed building which remains very rustic. We wanted the freedom to set up the venue how we wanted and for it not to look the same as every other wedding at that venue. It was a blank canvas and we could be very creative to make our day special.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I went to four shops in total and found my dress at La Belle Angele. The designer was Victoria Jane and the style, Jessie. I took my mum and two best friends who just loved the dress. It fitted perfectly and felt so comfortable. I did intend to look at other shops, just incase, but couldn’t think what I would change about it.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

They wore mint green floor-length dresses from Debut at Debenhams. I wanted something that would suit them all, plus one of my bridesmaids was due to give birth four days after the wedding, so it needed to be easily adjustable.

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Where did you find your suits?

We chose the groomsmen suits from Slaters as we wanted to purchase them to keep rather than renting them. I used to work for a suit manufacturer who supply designer shops on Savile Row, so they agreed to make Kim’s suit. It was great as he got to choose the fabric, lining, style etc and have a unique suit made for him. We decided to have the groomsmen wear mint green ties to match the bridesmaids' dresses, then Kim wore an orange tie to really stand out.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

My cousin, Claire, is a florist so she made the bouquets and buttonholes as a wedding gift. I wanted a really bright orange bouquet to match with Kim’s tie and suit details. I love gerberas so this was the main flower used throughout. The flower ladies at the church made the arrangements for the ceremony which were again very bright with oranges as the main colour. My step-mum, Lorraine, made all of the flower arrangements at the barn for the table decorations and to go in the milk churns. My mum also made up some barrel planters to dot around the barn.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

We tried to do as much as possible ourselves or with favours from family and friends. We had lots of kids at the wedding, so we set up games in the courtyard which we bought or made such as hook the duck, giant jenga, bean bag throw with tin cans, bubbles and hula hoops.

We hired Quirk to do all of the lighting in the barn which involved fairy lights draped across the beams, uplighters in orange and greens, candles in the window slits, and a projection of ripple effect lighting behind the band. We set up the venue ourselves on the Thursday and Friday before the wedding.

I made a decorative step ladder which had hearts pegged with the names of all family and friends who couldn’t be there. We decorated the bar with bunting that my mum made, and had a wooden wheel barrow for our sweet trolley which Kim’s dad handcrafted. Mymum made hessian sacks which we filled with sweets and put in the wheelbarrow.

Our wedding favours were little bottles of Limoncello and sloe gin which we made. For the kids, I bought an individual present for each of them and wrapped it up in a little bucket. Everyone also had a ‘face mat’ on their place setting to take funny pictures with. Kim’s dad made a photo booth frame which we stood up with milk churns and bought various props for our guests to use. We also brought lots of haybales into the barn to make it look really rustic. We made our table plan on a pallet, and also made pallets with photos of us through our childhood.

The wedding car was a Landrover Defender which my dad’s friend drove for us. We stopped off at Oxnead on the way to the barn as I love the horses there. We had prosecco and made friends with a mare and her foal which the photographer rounded up for us. We left the venue around midnight and had our first night at Ingham Swan as this is one of our favourite restaurants.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I felt really excited and surprisingly calm. Luckily my dad didn’t trip me over. It was wonderful seeing Kim’s face smiling back at me and seeing all our lovely family and friends there to support us.

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What was your most memorable moment?

I think this was my brothers' poem in the church – this was a real surprise and so funny. Seeing the horses at Oxnead and just standing at the altar together holding hands.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Not being able to see if all our ideas would work until the day we set up the barn. We had to organise lots of different suppliers and family members who were helping us to make sure it all went smoothly on the set-up days.

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What was the most important investment for you?

Food and drink because we love food. We wanted our guests to have food and drink on tap so we arranged for canapés and arrival drinks, then a two-course sit-down meal. Then we had a horsebox in the courtyard serving hot drinks. In the evening we had a hog roast and ice cream cart in the courtyard. We decided to have a free bar as weddings can be expensive as a guest, but we had a charity box on the bar for anyone who wanted to give a donation.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

We chose Sia – Day Too Soon. It was one that we listened to in the car quite a bit when we first started dating, and the words just meant a lot to us.

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

Yes we had a live band play, The Harley Street Band.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

This was better than we could have imagined. It was made by Vanilla Pattiserie, and when we went to our tasting session we discussed the idea of having a cake table with different things to try rather than just a cake. So we had a two tiered cake decorated with a log effect, cupcakes decorated with orange and green flowers, cake pops, cookies with our name imprinted, and the best salted caramel brownies that we have ever tasted. We also asked for cake pops to be decorated as a bride and groom to use as our cake toppers.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

To try and take in more of the day, and maybe put a camera in the barn so we could watch the day back. I don’t remember seeing my mum much on the day so I would like to go back and give her a big hug.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

Yes, unfortunately we had an issue with Kim’s nan not making it to the barn as his uncle got lost. This ended with her missing out on our wedding breakfast, speeches and first dance which we really regret. But she did see us get married which is the most important. We also had an issue with the cookers we had hired, but the caterer did an amazing job and still managed to get 118 meals out.

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

How quickly the day would go, lots of people told us but we never appreciated it.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

Japan, we left for the airport on the Monday after the wedding and flew on the Tuesday.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Just try to enjoy it as you never get that experience again. Remember why you are having a wedding and who it’s for before getting caught up in too many minor details that often go unnoticed on the day anyway.

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Steal their style:

Photography: Patrick Watson
Live music: The Harley Street Band
Catering: Bayfield Catering
Cake: Vanilla Cake Design (Vanilla Patisserie) 
Horsebox: Express Coffee
Ice cream cart: Dann’s Cart Hire
Venue lighting: Quirk Events
Staging, dancefloor, sofas, toilets and bar: Morton Events
Tables, chairs, tableware, crockery, glasses: CMA Hire
Barrel decoration: Edgefield Garden Centre
Orange postbox: Special Delivery Accessories
Make-up: Beauty Boutique (Tiffany) 
Hair: Jayne Ellouise Bridal Hair
Groom's suit: Wensum Tailoring Ltd
Groomsmen suits: Slaters
Bride's dress: La Belle Angele

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