The first post in our wedding series is all about the venue we went with, it’ll include a lot of information and pictures so prepare yourselves!
When Mark and I got engaged over 2 years ago, we were living in Liverpool at the time, but we both knew that we wanted to get married back in Norfolk/Suffolk, as that’s where most of the family and friends were located.
I began by searching on the Internet for a number of different venues in and around the Norfolk/Suffolk border, so it would be fair for both sides of the family. I knew that I wanted something fairly rustic feeling, big and grand isn’t my style and so I knew that really what I was looking for was somewhere out in the open, maybe a converted barn of some sort with lots fields. I also knew that I wanted the ceremony and the reception to be at the same place, because I find it such a pain when you have to drive or travel from one venue to another.
I found a few places that really fit with what I wanted looks wise, but they just weren’t within our budget at all.
When I was starting to lose hope I came across a hidden gem in Applewood Hall. After looking on their website and social media, I sent an email over to their wedding planner Kiera and arranged a viewing and meeting for when we were next in the area.
A few weeks later, Mark and I, and Mark’s parents, went to walk around the venue and have a chat with Kiera. Now I’ll be completely honest here: Applewood Hall was the only venue we viewed. This might sound a bit silly, but after walking around we could just tell it was the right venue for us.
It really had everything we wanted; it was very close to the Norfolk/Suffolk border, it has 2 ceremony rooms that you can choose from which are right next to the reception room, a beautiful garden and the reception room is so spacious and stunning that we knew we wouldn’t need much decoration. It really was the perfect venue, but it all obviously came down to money.
We sat down with Kiera, and told her the date we were hoping for and how many people we were thinking of. She came back to us with a price and honestly, I think Mark and I asked if we could book there and then because it was well within budget!
What makes Applewood Hall even better is that they have onsite caterers, so you don’t have to worry about getting caterers in for your wedding breakfast. They also have a bar, as well as being very fairly priced with their drinks for the tables and for toasts. So we jumped at the chance to have our wedding at Applewood Hall.
We booked Applewood over a year and a bit before our wedding, and poor Kiera had to deal with CONSTANT emails from either Mark or myself. She really was an incredible wedding planner!
As I mentioned earlier, the venue is so beautiful we didn’t actually feel the need to do much in terms of decoration. We left the ceremony room completely as it was, it was in a converted loft with all the roof beams exposed (so I got my rustic barn feels so I was happy!) and the reception room from the inside almost feels like a marquee, with the walls and ceilings being draped in white material and fairy lights- it was heaven!
However, we went to view Applewood on a number of occasions and at one point, they had the most beautiful selection of paper lanterns up and Mark and I decided that we definitely wanted to get these up for our wedding day!
I contacted the lovely Sam of Sam Race Venue Decoration and thankfully she was free that day to set them up for us. Then about 2 weeks before the wedding, Sam contacted me to ask if we’d be interested in having a completely new decoration type, instead of the lanterns. What they had done was created a canopy over the dance floor using fairy lights, and when Mark and I saw what they had done we immediately agreed that we wanted it- it really added the wow factor!
Now to the actual day, Kiera and the whole team at Applewood Hall really pulled out all the stops to make our day perfect. The staff were all polite and happy to help, the food was amazing and I had a number of guests say it was the best wedding food they’d eaten, and Kiera was always on hand to help Mark and I. One of my memories of the day is just after the ceremony I was stood, not really sure what to do next and Kiera came over and gave me a glass of Prosecco which was EXACTLY what I needed at that moment.
I really can’t hype up Applewood Hall enough, if we were to do it all over again I would still have the wedding there.