Gathering for the wedding reception

Tara & Jordan’s Wedding

When did the proposal take place and how did it happen?

Jordan proposed in Bruges, the weekend before Christmas in 2017. We had had dinner in a beautiful and romantic little restaurant that unbeknown to me he had researched before booking.

There was an ice skating rink within the main square that was surrounded by a charming Christmas market, and we were heading towards one of the little huts to buy some Gluwein when Jordan steered me towards a little display of Christmas trees and got down on one knee. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t speak, and I still get that feeling when I think about it now.

Did you have an ideal venue in mind before you began your search? How did you research your venue?

Jordan and I had moved into Layer Marney village about one month before getting engaged, so were curious about where we may be able to marry in the area. We’d heard of the Tower but hadn’t seen it and didn’t know anything about it until the day of our appointment. It was the first place we had considered and after having seen the beautiful Tower and surrounding grounds we didn’t even think about looking anywhere else.
The added bonus for us was to marry in St Mary the Virgin church, as we both had our hearts set on a traditional church wedding. It is such a beautiful church, and once again we just knew it was what we wanted as soon as we set foot inside.

How many venues did you visit and why did you choose Layer Marney Tower?

See above.

How far in advance did you book your wedding day?

We both wanted to marry within the year and we knew that we’d like a late summer wedding, so we had to get a wriggle on to see what dates were available. Karen, our wedding coordinator, advised us of the available dates on the day of our viewing, and we reserved our date (1st September) just a day or two afterwards. It was all systems go from the moment we left the venue!!

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Did you have a theme?

We didn’t have a theme as such but we knew that we wanted it to be a relaxed and enjoyable day for everyone. We quickly decided not to have a sit down meal, and to go for a country fete feel instead. Jordan and the boys were hanging bunting around the courtyard and blowing up spacehoppers just a few hours before the ceremony!

For food we decided on a hog roast plus a variety of pasta, salads etc. We provided lots of outdoor activities and games (spacehoppers, croquet, bowls etc). We also made sure that we provided lots of outdoor tables and seating so that people could wander around and then sit or eat wherever they wanted. The grounds are lovely so it was wonderful to be able to spread out, and it encouraged people to wander.

With regards a colour scheme we had decided on navy blue as the colour for Jordan’s and the groomsmen’s suits and the bridesmaid’s dresses. As Jordan is Australian our florist had the wonderful idea of adding eucalyptus to the button holes, which looked beautiful. We felt that was a really nice touch for Jordan’s family too – a little nod to home.

How did you choose which suppliers you used?
The thing that we found amusing was how little either of us knew about weddings! ‘We haven’t done this before’ became our mantra when speaking to caterers, photographers, bridal shops, florists etc.

Karen was wonderful and answered every question we had, no matter how stupid. We attended a wedding show at the Tower and signed ourselves up with most of the exhibitors there. It was important to us to use people that were familiar with the Tower and so would know how to maximise the location. This was especially important with regards the florist and photographer.

Bouquet Garni are the designated caterers at the Tower, and Charlotte was an absolute godsend. She basically made sure that not only did we have everything we wanted with regards food and drink, but also that the day ran smoothly and everything happened when and where it should have. We received so much positive feedback about the food which was wonderful, as catering on a grand scale can be a bit hit or miss! Bouquet Garni provided us with such a vast array of options so we really were able to cater to all tastes.

What were the highlights of your day or particularly memorable moments?

I have so many! The whole day was just a series of wonderful moments. Being picked up in the vintage Rolls Royce. Seeing the faces of our friends and families as I entered the church. Having everyone you love in one place and knowing that you have a whole day to speak to all of them! The speeches. Seeing everyone you love having a wonderful time and knowing that you made the right choices!

But nothing will ever compare to seeing Jordan at the end of the aisle and knowing that I’d be leaving the church as his wife.

Do you have any advice for Brides and Grooms just starting their wedding planning?

It can feel quite overwhelming at the start, but the one thing that kept us organised was having budget and ‘To Do’ spreadsheets. We lived by them on a daily basis, so were able to keep on top of outstanding items, payment dates, appointments etc. It really helped us to keep on top of everything, which kept the stress levels in check!

We also had spreadsheets for the guest list, accommodation and transport for guests. Even these things can be fluid right up until the day so it was good to know that the headcount and logistics for everyone were all taken care of!

With regards choosing what kind of day you’d like, we got loads of inspiration from Pintrest. From important things like the dresses and flowers etc right down to the table favours, we were constantly being inspired by what other people had done. This really helped us to decide on what we wanted our perfect day to look like.

Lastly but I think most importantly, Jordan and I took moments on the day to stop and take it all in and I’m so glad we did J