A rustic Christmas wedding in Norfolk

08 Jan 2020

Following Vicki Pascoe and Jack Tarrant's Christmas Eve engagement, there appeared to be no better time of year to hold their wedding two years later

How did you meet?

Through work. Jack worked in Barclays bank in Dereham, I worked in the nearby accountants and I used to go in the bank. 

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Tell us about the proposal.

It was in the evening on Christmas Eve 2017 and we had been busy prepping vegetables all afternoon for our first time hosting Christmas dinner. We went out to see friends and I came home to roses at the bottom of the stairs with a note to go upstairs. There were tea lights all the way up the stairs, along with a string of photos from the beginning of our relationship. Jack was in the lounge ready to pop the question with our little girl, Isabella, stood by him. 

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What was your wedding theme and did you have a colour scheme?

Our theme was rustic/Christmas. We chose a very neutral grey and white colour scheme. 

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Tell us about your venue.

We chose Southwood Hall in Norwich. The Coronation Barn is absolutely stunning and I knew it would be perfect for a winter wedding. It was really cosy and the perfect size. It was the first venue we looked at and we knew as soon as we viewed it that it was where we wanted to get married. 

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When did you know you'd found the dress?

My dress came from Prima Donna in Norwich, it was the first shop I went to. I tried on seven dresses, all in different styles and this was the third one I tried.

My dress was by Justin Alexander. It suited my figure perfectly, the halter neckline was so me... I never expected to find a dress like it.

When I ordered my dress at the beginning of March 2019, our little boy, Albie, was only 4.5 months old so I knew I had weight to shift before the wedding in December. Once my dress came arrived in August I had to have quite a few alterations to get it just right (I even started doubting the dress at one point as at each fitting it still wasn’t right). We got there in the end though and when I put it on on the day, I felt amazing - the dress was just stunning. My mum persuaded me to have a veil and I’m so glad I did as it finished it off perfectly.

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Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear? 

I had six bridesmaids and our daughter, Bella, as a flowergirl. Terri-Ann Gibson was my maid of honour and my bridesmaids were: Jade Long, Rebecca Burch, Becky Waters and Polly Warr and Ella Tarrant (Jack's sisters).

They wore gorgeous long sleeve charcoal grey dresses from ASOS. The top half of the dress was sequinned with a tulle skirt; they were perfect for a Christmassy/winter wedding. Bella wore a matching dress but in white with short sleeves. 

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

My mum, Sharon Pascoe, had a lovely pink/purple shift style dress with a matching jacket and pink fascinator. She got her whole outfit, including shoes and clutch bag, from Dreams Bridal in Rackheath. 

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Where did you find the suits?

The suits came from Slater Menswear, who were great and did free alterations. 

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What did you choose for the flower arrangement? 

I had been looking on Pinterest at ‘winter wedding bouquets’. I knew I wanted the flowers to be fairly simple i.e. white flowers with foliage and plenty of eucalyptus. My bouquet was enormous and was actually really heavy to hold, but it looked incredible. It consisted of avalanche roses, eucalyptus and a small amount of gypsophila. The bridesmaids had gypsophila and Bella had a flower wand to match my bouquet.

We also had two arrangements inside the barn on either side of the aisle entrance, filled with ivy and flowers to match my bouquet.

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Tell us about the details of the day. 

I knew I wanted a lot of the details to be Christmassy with it being a December wedding (and I love Christmas).

  • We had artificial eucalyptus wreaths with a candle sat atop a log slice in a hurricane vase as our centrepieces.
  • We gave personalised tree decorations as favours.
  • Our table plan was made by my brother Ben from an old pallet, which I painted, and we also had crates which I painted in the same colour. These were used as decoration and for the flip-flops and cards. We also hired some blankets for guests to use when they went outside. 
  • Jack's love of golf inspired the table names, which were displayed on brown card in a rustic photo frame. 
  • KWF Floristry who supplied the flowers also provided hessian chair sashes and put fairy lights throughout the barn.
  • We were very lucky that Southwood Hall had two massive Christmas trees on the stage during the festive period, which just added to the vibe.
  • We also had a photobooth and sparklers in the evening. 

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Walking down the aisle was one of the things I was most worried about, but in fact it was one of my favourite parts of the day. I was surprisingly calm the morning of the wedding. It wasn’t until the photographer, videographer and other suppliers started to arrive that it finally hit me what was happening and then I started to feel very emotional and overwhelmed.

I was nervous when entering the barn and once the music started I couldn’t hold back the tears when standing with my dad waiting to walk down the aisle. I managed to compose myself before walking down and I did not expect to see Jack standing there even more emotional than me. 

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

We had two readings during the ceremony, one from one of my best friends, Jade, who was also a bridesmaid, and one from one of Jack's closest friends, James, who was an usher. We had picked one reading each, so didn’t hear each other’s until the day when they were read out.

Jack had also picked a Kanye West interlude of All of the Lights for me to walk into as he loves Kanye, so that was really personal to us.

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What was your most memorable moment?

I honestly don’t think I could pick as the whole day was just the most memorable day in itself. Perhaps walking down the aisle and that moment when you first see each other.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Wedding planning can be so overwhelming at times. Juggling looking after a baby, a four-year-old and a disorganised fiancé did have its challenges. I found I spent a lot of evenings on the internet browsing things but never actually got anywhere with ordering anything and then got stressed by how much I still had to do. It’s really difficult to put a wedding together in your head as really you don’t know if it’s all going to come together until the day.

I got very stressed waiting for people to RSVP, I think that’s quite common though. Looking back, all the stress was 100% worth it.

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What was your most important investment?

Food and music, as they are the things people remember. I knew we would have no issues with food because Southwood Hall's catering is incredible. I wanted the evening to be one big party and the DJ certainly made that happen.

We also had plenty of wine left over from the wedding breakfast, which was put on the bar afterwards for people to help themselves. Free booze always goes down well with guests. 

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What song did you choose for your first dance?

We had Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do. Jack picked the song because he liked it and as soon as we played it, I knew it would be perfect.

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Tell us about your wedding cake. 

We had a semi-naked wedding cake. I knew straight away that this was what I wanted as it went with the rustic theme. Jack's sister, Ella, made it for us and it was perfect. It was set on a log slice and had artificial foliage to match everything else.

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Was there anything about the day you'd change? 

Absolutely nothing. The day itself couldn’t have been more perfect, it was hands down the most incredible day of our lives and we still don’t know how one day can be so amazing. Jack says he would drink one less bottle of red wine so he could remember all of the evening, and not be transported back to the accommodation by the manager in a wheelbarrow! 

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

Jack forgot to put our son's shoes on him, but other than that nothing went wrong.

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Is there anything you'd wish you'd known before?

That it was all going to be absolutley fine. All the stresses, worries and tears were all for nothing. All my married friends had told me to make the most of every single moment as the day will go so quick and I really felt like it did. I couldn’t believe it was my wedding day. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went on a minimoon to Amsterdam for three days a week later. Having a one-year-old and four-year-old, we didn’t feel like we could go on a proper honeymoon. Maybe when they’re all grown up... 

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What advice would you give to couples in the planning stages?

Just enjoy it. It will all come together perfectly on the day and you’ll miss all the planning afterwards.

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Steal their style:

Venue, catering and DJ: Southwood Hall
Photography: Nicki Thurgar  
Videography: Kelly Southby
Flowers and styling: KWF Floristry  
Dress: Justin Alexander, from Prima Donna Norwich 
Bridesmaids' dresses: Maya, ASOS
Suits: Slater Menswear
Rings: Ernest Jones
Make-up: Melissa Abel
Hair: Leanne Moralee 
Cake: Ella Tarrant (groom's sister)
Order of the day sign, sparklers and blankets: Holly Honeywell 
Light-up letters: Take The Leap Lighting Hire
Photobooth: Yourselfie 

For more Norfolk wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Norfolk Bride magazine

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