A pretty in pink wedding in Norfolk

11 May 2022

Katie Hows and Sam Murphy got engaged in lockdown and had the summer wedding of their dreams a year later 

How did you meet?

Through a mutual friend, who decided to play Cupid and sent Sam my number without me knowing. It took a drunk night out for Sam three weeks later to eventually send the first message, and as they say the rest is history.

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Tell us about the proposal.

The proposal was supposed to be a small surprise gathering with family, but Covid had other ideas. It was my 30th birthday and because of lockdown we were only allowed to leave the house for an hour a day.

Early evening, we went for a walk and took a few birthday cards in a bag to open and make the most out of a bad situation. We ended up in a nice spot in the countryside as the sun was setting and in the handful of cards was one from Sam saying: ‘Will you marry me?’. As the card was being opened, Sam got down on one knee with a ring in his hand.

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

There wasn't a specific theme; we just wanted it to be simple and relaxed. The venue oozes character and we didn’t want to deflect from that. The colour scheme was various shades of pink, with the bridesmaids each wearing a different shade of choice.

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

Voewood in Holt, Norfolk. We had no connection to Norfolk, but chose it after immediately falling in love. Voewood was so unique and completely different to any wedding venue we had seen.

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How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I think there were multiple dresses that could have been the one, so I felt I was in a lucky position; however, trying to decide between multiple dresses was also tough. In the end, I went with the one I felt the most special in but still ‘me’.

In total I probably tried on about 15 dresses across two boutiques. I wanted to keep the number of bridal boutiques I visited to a minimum so made sure I did my research on designers beforehand. I went with an Australian designer, Jane Hill. The dress was very simple and classic but with a modern twist. It was something I imagined I would choose and it also got the biggest wow reaction from my mum, sister and best friend.

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

My mum wore a cream and gold fitted, three-quarter sleeve dress from Bombshell HQ.

Where did you find your suits?

Sam wore a Ralph Lauren black tuxedo.

Tell us about your floral arrangements.

The flowers were kept to a minimum as the venue is so beautiful inside and out, so we didn’t need to do a lot. We went for dried flowers in different tones of pink, cream and white. The bouquets, buttonholes and table arrangements were made by the bridal party themselves. 

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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 worked with my brother to design a table plan which matched our theme and feel for the day. Place names were handwritten by the bride, and my mum hand-made all of the table runners. With so many creative people around us, we decided that doing things ourselves would add a more personal touch to the day.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Nervous; my hands were clammy all morning, but I also felt excited. I knew once I had safely made it down the aisle I would be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the ceremony. Having my dad with me, making me laugh as we walked down the very long aisle, eased the nerves.

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

We had my brother and Sam’s sister both give readings. We asked them to choose the reading themselves so that it would be a surprise for us on the day. It was a really nice way for the both of us to be able to include all of our family in the day.

What was your most memorable moment?

We had so many amazing moments throughout the day, but the surprise flash dance organised by our families and friends was pretty cool.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Getting our large guest list into a venue that wasn’t really set up for that many people. It was a bit of a squeeze and a worry if there would be enough room, but nobody seemed to really notice and everyone said how much of an energy and constant buzz there was around the room.

What was the most important investment for you?

Photography. We had Lyndsey Goddard to capture our day and it really was well worth the money. We loved her style and knew we wanted her from the very beginning. We feel extremely lucky that she agreed to photograph our day, and we have so many incredible images that capture those special moments perfectly.

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

Jubel by Klingande. We chose this because it’s one of our favourite songs that takes us both back to long summer days with a cocktail in hand. Having a live saxophonist to play this for the first dance was amazing and got everyone on the dance floor. Slow dancing isn’t really our thing.

Did you have any evening entertainment?

We had an amazing DJ and saxophonist; they were able to play for all age groups and really read the energy of the room. The dance floor was always full.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We had five different wedding cakes made to order from Waitrose. We didn’t want to do the traditional cutting of the cake, so we just had it pre-sliced for our guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

How much work planning a wedding at a dry hire venue is without a wedding planner. I think we underestimated how much thought and hard work goes into the day. Luckily, we were able to rope in the help of some of our friends and family to ensure the day ran smoothly.

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Where did you go on honeymoon? 

We went on our honeymoon five days after the wedding, travelling to Ibiza, Formentera and Mallorca. We spent five days in the North of Ibiza before heading to Formentera for three days. We then came back to central Ibiza for three days and finished off the honeymoon with seven days in Mallorca. 

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

Remember that the day is about you as a couple and it should reflect both of you, not one or the other. Make sure decisions are made jointly; even if you have conflicting or different ideas, find a compromise. I can assure you it will make the planning process a lot smoother, more enjoyable and a lot less stressful for you both.

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Steal their style:

Venue: Voewood
Photography: Lyndsey Goddard Photography
Dress: Jane Hill from Halo and Wren Bridal
Hair: Cara Hubbard Hair Artist
Make-up: Shellbe Makeup
DJ & saxophonist: Wedding Smashers 
Catering: Florentina Catering 
Bar: East Coast Bars

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