ah there is something so throughly lovely about seeing a very old and dear friend walk down the aisle with her best friend and partner. A week ago Saturday Emma and Rob had such a beautiful wedding in Norfolk for 125 of their friends and family. I’ve known Emma for around twenty years, and we went through university and our twenties in London together, as part of a big, happy, music and dance obsessed group of friends, so was thrilled to actually be in the country and able to attend. (I’ve never got over missing a dear friend’s wedding during a hellish work summer in New York in 2008.)
(Navy Betula hat by and courtesy of Gina Foster here.)
Toft Monks near Beccles in Norfolk is a three hour drive north east of London, so I drove off all optimistic on Saturday morning, after getting the filth pit car valeted in Emma’s honour, hoping to make it comfortably in time for the wedding at 2pm, and allowing plenty of time for roadworks and motoring disasters.
Unfortunately due to my terrible Dyspraxia number blindness, I managed to miscalculate and, instead of arriving in the area a comfortable hour or so beforehand for a country pub lunch and leisurely change in the loos, I found myself in a lay by in 30C/90F heat changing into my Suzannah frock and Spanx, hoping I wasn’t giving the passing drivers an eyeful (the car is a tiny two seater, so no room to hide.)
Plastering my make up on in the direct sunlight – and sticking hairpins into my scalp, I accelerated off from my glamorous changing room – and discovered that my phone GPS wasn’t receiving a signal. Eventually I skidded across the gravel of the venue car park five minutes before the start, only to have a Porsche accelerate in even later than me in a cloud of dust and swearing. Emma clearly knows her friends well: she didn’t walk down the aisle in the beautiful 17thC barn at Toft Monks until twenty past two, when all her dilatory friends had *finally* arrived.
Emma had two grown up bridesmaids, her sister Rachel, and Jene, below. Such clever outfits: dresses from Coast, zhuzhed with wide satin ribbons and vintage style diamante brooches from VV Rouleaux.
As you may have gathered, the wedding colours were purple, cream and lilac.
Toby looking slick, as per. Nice Paul Smith shoes, I see there.
The girls! Was so happy to see Laura wearing a dress I had given away at Clothes Swap before I went to America, and looking far nicer in it than I ever did – I’m drawing a veil over the fact that she is wearing it as a maternity dress.
Foxy, in his new Albanian gangster hirsuite look.
Why so confused Blakey?!
The beautiful barn is halved by a screen for the service, so it feels very church-like. Then we were ushered outside for Champagne, and the screen removed inside to reveal half the barn already laid up for the wedding breakfast, with the other half rapidly turned into tables too. There is a small marquee off the side, which housed the bar and dressing up box (!). After speeches, we went outside for coffee and the tables were removed again for the dancing.
Emma is a professional musician (sax player), and not only did she play during her own wedding service, but she and Rob named the tables after their favourite club nights and festivals from around the world. Cue: lots of nostalgic reminiscing from all us…
I was on one of the Ibiza tables – there was a Space and a DC10…
My Gina Foster hat having a little rest before supper
I wish more brides made speeches. Emma’s was a corker, funny, beautifully projected and very moving too.
Anna & Tim:
Beautiful Hannah, (Jene the bridesmaid’s sister) with her chic hair flowers.
There was a lot of hugging all night, which summed up the wonderful, loving atmosphere.
I feel certain that Dave would like me to point out that he was manning the camera at the dressing up box, and that he doesn’t normally dress like a 50s bookie.
Always handy having a DJ amongst the wedding guests.
A really lovely choreographed first dance from two people who can actually dance.
And lots of sore feet. Emma M and I moved to flats pretty quickly
Thank you Emma and Rob (and parents) for a truly glorious day and afternoon. It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be part of your wedding celebrations.