A drive-in wedding in Norfolk
20 Oct 2020
Keziah Bash and Matthew Rogers were able to hold an open-air wedding with all their guests by making it a drive-in event with the majority of guests watching from their cars, socially distanced
Tell us how the idea of a drive-in wedding came about
Covid-19! We had planned our wedding so far in advance that we thought it wouldn't be too stressful as everything would be well organised and planned. We were told when we gave notice how well prepared we were. We kept watching the news and thinking things are getting worse, what if this affects our wedding day? When we looked at our guest list and tried to pick 15 guests each it seemed impossible. About two months before our wedding day we called Sarah Softley from Softley Events and suggested a drive-in wedding. She was keen for this and said she would make enquiries.
We did not receive permission until two weeks before our day and it was very stressful. Some of our guests had booked hotels to come to our wedding and up to that point we didn't have a clear answer for them as to whether they would be able to come or not. We didn't know how many orders of service to order or how many drinks to order.
We got the all clear on the day of my hen do and I can remember crying. The relief was huge. Then the news came that outside events were limited to six people. I called Sarah and asked if we could get married in seven days time rather than 14 and if we could move it all forward. Sarah said this would not be possible. She said we needed to wait for further guidance from their health and safety team. We also noticed the case rise at Banham Poultry and wondered if Norfolk would go into lockdown. Would we have to call the whole thing off? Thankfully Sarah said that as the guests in cars are all socially distanced this did not impact on us. We still felt on edge until around six days before our wedding as we knew most changes had been coming in with a week's notice.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme for the day was the Lake District as this is a special place for us. Originally, we were going to have the names of mountains we have climbed as our table names but due to Covid-19 this changed as we only had a top table in the end. However, we bought pairs of infant walking boots and the florist put flowers in these. These lined the aisle.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Kimberley Hall in Wymondham. We chose this venue as it is absolutely beautiful. Both the inside and outside are just stunning. We wanted to get married outside in front of the amazing view of the lake.
Tell us about the dress
I saw the dress I wanted online at Wed2B. I went to the shop and the lady told me that people see dresses online then come into the store and try several on and pick a different one. I tried on five dresses but my favourite was the one I had seen online. I knew this was the one.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My sisters Naomi and Harmony Bash were bridesmaids alongside Lyndsey Rogers, Matt’s sister. They wore dusty pink long dresses also from Wed2B.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
Our floral arrangements changed due to Covid-19. We ended up having a floral archway to start the walk down to the aisle. We had little walking boots as mentioned above and either side of our archway.. We had buttonholes and bouquets. The bridal bouquet consisted of a beautiful shower bouquet of quicksand roses, very pale pink spray roses, dark pink astrantia, white astilbe, peach salmon lisianthus and blue thistles with blending trailing foliage. The flowergirl had a silver heart wand with flowers which matched the bouquets. We also had a top table arrangement. All the flowers matched.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
Our favours were fortune cookies that were in the food packages created by our caterers. They had a personalised message on them that read ‘Thank you for sharing our special day with us, love Mr and Mrs Rogers xx’. As well as the favours, they contained sweet and sour chicken balls, chips, a duck dish, special fried rice, spring rolls, a beef dish and prawn crackers. The guests' cars all had numbers and five car numbers were called at a time. One person from that car went to the bar to collect their food parcel for their bubble.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt incredibly happy and thankful. I couldn’t believe it was my wedding day and we had done it!
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We said our own personalised vows. We had not heard each other’s prior to the day. We chose two songs each. Two of our friends did a reading for us and two other friends prayed for us. Our band sang the UK Blessing song as we walked back down the aisle and round. Our church leader conducted our ceremony outside and then we had the registrar conduct the legal ceremony inside.
What was your most memorable moment?
Keziah: “My most memorable moment was my arrival. I loved driving around the cars and waving to all of our guests. They had no idea we were coming behind them and when they suddenly turned around and saw me and smiled it was just amazing.”
Matt: “For me it was when we were saying our vows to each other. It felt like such a special moment to be sharing our love for each other with all of our friends and family. I had to hold back the tears so that I could finish saying my vows and guests have since said how emotional it was for them at that moment.”
What was the most important investment for you?
The venue because this allowed all of our guests to come in a safe way and we were able to have a drive-in wedding.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We did not have a first dance and we cancelled our Ceilidh band which was originally our evening entertainment.
Tell us about your wedding cake
Our wedding cakes were made by Matt’s auntie Rosemary. Rosemary had a big task. She made five different cakes for us; four of which - chocolate, Victoria sponge, carrot and a gluten free carrot cake were cut up and put into the food parcels and the fifth cake was the cake we cut. It consisted of two tiers and had mountains as the design with figures made from icing (bride and groom) on the top. We had little brown walking boots made from icing on the top in front of us and my walking boots had glitter on them.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Nothing our day was perfect.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We had originally booked to go to Egypt. However, this was essential travel only due to Covid-19 and so we ended up going to Turkey for ten days. We just escaped the quarantine coming back!
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
I think everything is so uncertain at the moment and I really feel for those couples that have moved their wedding so many times so far. I would say if you can then go for a drive-in ceremony as ours really was amazing.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Dave Richardson, Bigphatphotos
Venue: Kimberley Hall
Wedding planner: Sarah Softley, Softley Events
Make-up: Eleanor Ainslie Artistry
Nails: Beauty Box by Rita
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Wed2B
Groom’s outfit: Next
Flowers: Elizabeths the Florist
Bridal car: Norfolk Classic Wedding Cars
Bridesmaids’ transport: Silverline Limousines
Band: Dereham Baptist Church Band