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WPC Real Wedding: Rose & Julian's Modern Norfolk Country Wedding

This wedding has made our day. Real WPC couple Rose & Julian had the most gloriously personal wedding weekend in Norfolk, striking the perfect balance between tradition and modern. A riot of colour, the most epic wedding food you've ever seen (Rose is a wedding caterer...) and a converted barn called Club Tropibarna where the groom and his friends DJ'd until the early hours. Read on for the most serendipitous meeting and love story as Rose talks us through their beautiful day.

How We Met

Julian is one of my best friend’s youngest brother.  When we were at school, I remember going round to hers and he was a mouthy little 6,7,8 year old. The two things I remembered about him were that he was the apple of everybodys' eye (I found him deeply precocious) and that we shared a birthday.

Ten years later, and I’ve never done this before or since, I decided to go on a 10k run (seriously, this is not my vibe, I hate running). It was a cold and wet Saturday in November (fireworks night in fact), my brother had baled on me, but I decided to go to Surrey anyway. True to form, I was late and ended up cutting a huge corner of the run out, but I was still knackered, wet and over-it when James, Julian’s elder brother came to say hi. And you remember “Jules” ? he said. Actually I didn’t really. He was tying his shoe lace and looked up at me. Looking back, that was definitely a lightening bolt moment.

James asked me to give Julian a lift back to London, since he was going on elsewhere. Part of me was pleased for his incessantly cheery 25 year old banter (I am 7 years older), part of me was feeling anti social. But then the weirdest thing happened. Two miles in, the clutch on my mini gives up (we’ve since named it Mini Cupid obvs). No warning - another thing that's not happened before or since. 9 hours stuck on the A3, two pints of Rattler, a pick up truck and a decision to end up back at mine in Notting Hill watching the fireworks from the roof …. The rest, as they say, is history.  We never looked back.

Our Wedding Present Company Experience

I can’t pinpoint a highlight, the whole experience has been exciting. Perhaps the first showroom visit, you’re like a kid in a sweet shop! We liked the way it felt quirkier (more creative) than anywhere else, and the promise of being able to source anything drew us in too. Then we just loved Emily (our Wedding List Advisor), and the cosiness of the showroom, so it was a no brainer.

Cushion Cover, Woodland Animals, White Bobbles
Sarah Fortescue
£75.00
Wall Mirror, Sash Window, Distressed Grey, 130 x 95cm
Oka
£295.00
Pitcher, Jasmine, Clear, 4 pint
William Yeoward
£96.00
Mocha Express Coffee Maker by Bialetti, 12-cup
Bialetti
£67.50
Ceiling Hanging Pot & Pan Rack, Industrial Kitchen, Vintage Style
Kitchen Craft
£99.50
Putney Wall Clock, 45cm, Black
Newgate Clocks
£100.00
Ice Bucket, Strand Rattan, White
Kalinko
£68.00

The Day

Working in weddings (I run my own catering business, Peardrop London) and being a little older, I wanted to do something a little different with loads of colour (our dress code was Bright & Beautiful). But we were torn because we wanted to marry in a church and do some of the traditional bits too. In the end we settled on getting married on Friday evening in church and having a small, super chilled dinner for family only. I wore my mother’s dress, we had no bridesmaids or page boys and afterwards we ate fish pie and cheese in the barn which we decorated with lots of wild flowers and fairy lights. It was low key and very special.

The real celebration was on Sat ….. (and this is what I’m focusing on for the blog). I wore two amazing dresses, one from Charlie Brear during the day and then a Kate Halfpenny for the evening.

I wanted to serve a delicious English high tea, as well as all the canapes and an amazing dinner, so we slightly unusually asked people for 3pm for tea in the garden. We had 200 for dinner and an extra 100 Norfolk friends during the day. Then we had a fun ceremony down by the river taken by our great friend (the comedian Ivo Graham) and I had 13 little bridesmaids and pageboys - complete chaos.

After that, we had canapés and champagne, some speeches followed by dinner (homemade pasta).

Then the really fun part - we converted my Dad’s barn into a nightclub which we called Club Tropibarna. We had a huge disco ball and an amazing sound system with Julian and a few friends DJing. Our most important criteria of the party was there was no end time. We danced til 6am. No first dance, no band - not even many parent friendly songs but my Mum still managed to party til 4am!

Food - Keeping it Local

Apart from bringing Peardrop, I wanted to keep all my suppliers from within East Anglia. I chose potted shrimp as the starter as it’s a classic Norfolk dish. My supplier in London was charging £20 per kg for shrimp from Holland, but I chose to pay £35 per kg for Norfolk shrimp. This was important to me. We served Cromer crab sandwiches and homemade mini Cornish pasties at tea (Julian has Cornish roots). And Cornish Rattler, which is the insanely strong cider we drank on our first day together. I grew and picked all our edible flowers and herbs, or bought them from a nearby flower farm called Nurtured in Norfolk. I don’t think anyone noticed these details in the end but it brought me joy!

Music

Music (DJs):  DJ Groom for Improvement (Julian learned to DJ!), Jolyon Klean (Orca Sounds), AJ Montgomery

We also put a ukulele band together for our ceremony consisting of my Dad, Julian’s cousin and 3 friends. "It had to be Uke” produced by Orlando Leopard.

I arrived with my Dad and Goddaughter in his MG across the water meadows to “Higher Love” (Stevie Winwood version)

We sang “Lean on me” Bill Withers, “Wonderful World” Sam Cooke and “Jerusalem”. We left to Fat Boy Slim Praise You.

Suppliers

Catering: Peardrop London

Food: Gurney’s Fish Shop, Nurtured in Norfolk

Venue: My Dad’s house!

Tent: Cambridge Tent Co - would highly recommend

Flowers: homemade with the help of my amazing cousin Bella who owns a flower farm: West End Flower Farm

Dresses: Charlie Brear for day & Kate Halfpenny for the evening

Make Up: My dear friend Martha Sitwell 

Drinks: Wine Lea & Sandeman and Spirits Sipsmith

Photographer: My wonderful brother Ed Lloyd Owen (Friday) and Art & Story (Saturday)

Preacher Man: Ivo Graham

Music (DJs): Jolyon Klean (Orca Sounds), AJ Montgomery