A Woodland Wedding in Norfolk: Megan Swanson and George Herbert
08 Dec 2015
Giant Jenga, woodland animals, pine cones and bell jars created a fun, seasonal theme for this beautiful barn wedding at Chaucer Barn, Gresham, Norfolk, where glamorous tattooed bride Megan and her beau George tied the knot
How did you meet?
After a summer spent studying in Rome, I decided to do a bit of independent travelling around Europe before heading home to Chicago. My last stop was Paris. And, lo and behold, I stumbled upon George.
I had just arrived in Paris and a spent a day stuck in buses, airports, and the subway. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I arrived at my hostel. I was hiding behind my journal documenting my latest ‘revelations’ and about to turn in for the night and call the day a wash, when George sat next to me on the step. He looked at me, and in the most deadpan tone, asked me, "what's your favourite predatory bird?"
I immediately answered pterodactyl, and so began our first argument (within 10 seconds of meeting each other, mind you) debating whether or not a pterodactyl could be considered a bird. (I stand by my answer to this day – although not technically classified as a bird, I adamantly consider it an honorary bird).
What happened after you met?
Obviously, following this stellar introduction, the rest is history. We spent a week exploring Paris together before I ultimately had to return home. We travelled back and forth between England and America for a while, lived in Cambodia together for two years, before finally deciding to return to England and make it our home. Of course, first George had to fly to America to ask my dad for his permission – but that’s a whole other story.
What was the theme for the day?
We wanted our wedding day to be one that everyone could share and enjoy. Since only a small few from my side of the world would be able to attend, we wanted to make it an intimate occasion with only our nearest and dearest friends and family. This was probably one of our best decisions, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
We only had five months to plan our wedding after I had finally acquired my visa to get married in the UK. So, I do wish I could give more insight into our thought process while planning the wedding – but it was just too much of a whirlwind. Miraculously, the pieces fell into place by the time the day came, and it really was an absolutely beautiful and astounding day. The day never felt hectic and we were surrounded by those who loved us. What more can you ask for?
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We bought small spruce saplings as favours and wrapped them in wax paper. We hoped that our guests could plant them and be reminded of the day for years to come, as well as make the world a bit prettier and greener. Bridesmaids chose their own shoes and dresses based on a blush and gold palette, while groomsmen chose their own suits based on a grey palette.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Cliché, but don't sweat the little things. It's not worth fretting over the minor details because the day isn't about that, it's about the celebration of your love and soaking up every moment of it. It really does go as fast as they say.
Steal their style:
Photography: Jamie Groom, Norfolk jamiegroom.co.uk
Venue: Chaucer Barn, Gresham, Norfolk, www.chaucerbarn.com
Dress: Penelope by Love Marley
Shoes: Betsey Johnson, www.betseyjohnson.com
Bride’s accessories: Headpiece: Twigs and Honey, www.twigsandhoney.com; Necklace: Cestsla from Easy
Rings: Engagement ring: Harriet Kelsall, Cambridge, www.hkjewellery.co.uk/cambridge-jewellery-shop; wedding band: CutCarat on Etsy
Bridesmaids’ accessories: Hairpieces: LuxeBuffalo on Etsy
Groom’s attire: Ted Baker suit from Slater's in Norwich, Norfolk, www.slaters.co.uk
Groom’s shoes: Howick 'Actors'
Hair and make-up: Flamingo Amy, Norfolk, flamingoamy.co.uk
Stationery: BeholdDesignz on Etsy
Flowers: The Rose Garden, Cromer, Norfolk, www.therosegardencromer.com
Cake and catering: Alex Chef, Norwich, Norfolk, www.alexchef.co.uk
Entertainment: Jukeroxx Collective from Warble Entertainment, www.warble-entertainment.com/the-jukeroxx-collective
Giant Jenga and Connect Four: The Little Lending Company, Watlington, near King's Lynn, West Norfolk, thelittlelendingcompany.com
To see more wonderful Norfolk weddings order your copy of Norfolk and Suffolk Bride on Buyamag here.