top of page

A couple who did things their own way, and have no regrets

Jackie & Joe decided to have the wedding of their dreams, do things their own way and their celebration was recently published in Rock n Roll Bride Magazine so other couples can be inspired to do the same.

Can you tell us, briefly, how you met?

Jackie: We actually met through a mutual friend - We were out for his birthday and the club we went to only took cash and not card. Joe apparently didn’t realise this until he’d ordered all the drinks for his round and didn’t have enough cash on him to pay for them. He turned around and as I was behind him, he asked me if I could lend him the rest. He bought his round (or rather, I did) and came back over to me where we sat and

talked for ages – and we haven’t stopped talking since.

Joe: Yeah, that was the most expensive round of my life: Two houses, two kids together, a dog and a wedding!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Jackie: Non-traditional, relaxed and fun.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

Jackie: We wanted something a bit different, and not like every other wedding you go to. Mostly we just wanted it to reflect us, our personalities and lives together. We live in a beautiful area of the country surrounded by lots of nature and the barns are naturally very striking so we wanted it to feel very natural but with our own little twist of black glam!

Is there anything that you did that you think makes your wedding particularly unique, alternative or different?

Jackie: Well.. My wedding dress! I had my black wedding dress custom designed – something I’ve dreamt about forever but never thought it would be reality. I went looking for black dresses off the rail but as you can imagine, there really isn’t too many about so I was so pleased when I found Evie who made my dress entirely from scratch.

Joe: We also got rid of some ‘traditions’ that just didn’t feel like us. We didn’t cut a cake, we didn’t have a first dance, we had grazing boards and sharing platters for each table – because who wants to eat a three-course sit down meal in the height of summer?

Jackie: I also had my eldest son Jack walk me down the aisle. I didn’t want him to feel left out and wanted to include him somehow so that was the perfect fit.

What is the one thing you wish you’d know about planning a wedding before you began?

Joe: You’ll always need more money than you think you will!

What challenges (if any) did you face when planning your wedding?

Jackie: The only real issue we had was the accommodation for us all. One property let us down before the wedding and the next option was way over budget! However, after a bit of searching I found an amazing hotel, not far from where we were getting married, and it meant I could arrive in style in the most amazing blue truck.

Tell us about your ceremony... What music did you have, what were your vows like, were there any particularly special or memorable moments?

Jackie: We had Christina Perri, 1000 years played by an incredible harpist. When we were picking music, we took the time to look at what the lyrics were for each song and made sure to select ones which meant something to us. The lyrics for 1000 years really stood out for me, I felt like they had lots of meaning for Joe and I. Our vows were very basic though because both of us hate standing up and talking in front of people and just

wanted to get that part over and done with as quickly as possible – although if you asked anyone that knows us, they wouldn’t agree that we don’t like talking!

Having my son Jack walk me down the aisle was an incredibly special moment for me.

Joe: We did a ‘first look’ with just the two of us which was really special. We both had personalised inscriptions put into our rings and didn’t show each other until the first look! My ring says ‘ I’ll love you for a thousand more! And the ring I personalised for Jackie says, “thank god Ocean Rooms didn’t have a card machine” (the club we met at) Jackie also had some really special cufflinks made for me with my grandads ashes in them so I’ll always treasure those!

Tell us about your reception/ party… What were your favourite details or moments?

Both: After the ceremony we went outside and around the stunning fields and lake within Henham Park – it’s actually the site of Latitude festival every year, although it looked very different to when that’s on. We were taken around in a little buggy to different spots around the park for photos which was really special, and allowed us to just have a few moments to breathe and absorb the moment and what we’d just done. When we got back to the barn, we gathered our bridesmaids and groomsmen for the most EPIC champagne spray I’ve ever seen! That’s one of our favourite moments for sure!

We had an awesome acoustic set in the afternoon whilst everybody was outside drinking pimms, Jazmine Honey Banks sang a couple of sets with a guitar which was just perfect as background music but also go everybody buzzing for the rest of the day.

Our party was just that – a huge party with all of our favourite people! It was crazy! We had a sax player with a DJ afterwards and it was the best part of the day. He was amazing and everyone we’ve spoken to has complimented him and some have even booked him for their own events. Everybody was up dancing and having an amazing time throughout the night. Our pictures and video of the evening look like we’re having a

rave at points! All of our friends and family love a good party, so once the music was on, shirts were off, and Joe was crowd surfing!

We also had a photo booth in the evening – we weren’t sure about having one to start with but we’ve loved looking through all the funny pictures. You can see the demise of people throughout the night as the drinks were flowing haha! It was busy all night, and the guests loved it.

Did you do any DIY projects?

Jackie: Yes actually we did a lot of DIY. Everything on our tables was DIY. The candleholders were made out of old Calpol bottles that I had saved for a couple of years (not had with 2 young children), which I then spray painted black. The table numbers were made out of picture frames and leaves I got from our garden. Our save

the dates, invitations, name and table place cards were all done by us. I did have a lot of help from my bridesmaids and maid of honour – Joe even helped with some!

The children all had their own little wedding gift bags with drinking bottles, colouring pencils and pictures of Joe and I that they could colour in, little games and bubbles to keep them entertained and everything was personalised to them. I loved doing most of the things myself because it just made everything even more personal and made sure I could have things exactly how I pictured them.

What was your favourite part of the wedding planning process?

Jackie: For me it was my dress – seeing it come to life with each appointment was so magical and knowing that this was the dress that’s been in my head for many years it a memory I won’t ever forget. Not many people get to see their vision come to life how I did, and it was made even more special as she made a mini version of my dress for my daughter Juniper using the left-over material and lace from my dress.

Also, working with Lois from Flamingo + Fern made things so much easier. She was always on hand to make sure that I could enjoy the planning process without the stress.

Joe: I can’t lie – Jackie and Lois did most of the planning so I can’t comment!

What was your favourite part of the wedding day itself?

Jackie: For me, it was getting to marry my soul mate, something I never thought would happen.

Joe: Seeing all our family and friends come together to celebrate us and giving Jackie my last name was a real honour.

Jackie: Also seeing Juniper and Juni in matching outfits to us – so cute and special.

What was your biggest expense and why?

Jackie: Our biggest expense was the venue itself. Originally, we had a smaller budget for our venue and I already had somewhere in mind. It was a friend of mine who told me about Henham Barns and told me to go look at it before I made any other plans. We both fell in love with it as soon as we walked in – we just felt at home and that’s exactly how we wanted our guests to feel on the day as well. The space was amazing and totally fit our vibe and theme with the exposed brick and beams. Looking back, it was worth every penny!

Joe: We actually broke all the rules and didn’t even visit any other venues. As soon as I saw how happy Jackie was there, I knew this was where we had to get married.

Was there anything you really saved money on and how?

Jackie: Our DIY bits would have cost us a lot of additional money if we had to buy them.

What was the worst thing about planning your wedding?

Jackie: The worst thing for me was having so much going on in my head and trying to remember everything. I had lists coming out of my ears at one point. No matter how organised you are, there will always be something you forget.

Joe: This one’s easy – our bank balance!

Are there any comments you’d like to make about the wedding industry in general or your experience navigating through it?

Jackie: I loved our wedding day and how it came together. I would do it again in a heartbeat! All of the suppliers involved in making it happen were truly incredible and we have nothing but admiration and love for all of you – thank you so much for making our day so special. Every supplier listened to us and what we wanted from our incredible seasonal flowers that filled the rooms with the most awesome scents to the small local catering team who delivered the most amount of brightly coloured, beautiful fresh food I think I’ve ever seen. Thank you all!

Do you have any advice for future engaged couples? Anything else you’d like to add?

Both: Factor a wedding planner into your budget from the beginning. They take so much stress off you throughout the entire build up and allow you to actually enjoy planning your wedding. On the day, we barely noticed Lois and Eleanor but I know they were in the background sorting every little thing that came up. They took so much stress off us on the day and allowed us to totally relax and enjoy the day. Lois and Eleanor were amazing and we couldn’t thank them enough, although I booked all suppliers very early on, Lois took over with them quickly so we didn’t have loads of emails and admin overwhelming us on the day. It all ran really smoothly, and there were no issues – or at least if there were, we have no idea what they were!

Wedding Planners & Stylists - Lois + Eleanor – Flamingo + Fern @flamingo.and.fern

Photography - Chloe Ellis Photography @chloeellisphotography

Videography - Lewis James Parker Films @parkerlewisjames_films

Venue - Henham Barns @henhamweddings

Jackie's Dress - Naya Bridal @nayabridal

Jewellery - Kind Jewellery @kindcollection

Flowers - Wild Spirit Florist @wildspiritflorist

Catering – Day - Little Pie Patisserie @littlepiepatisserie

Catering – Evening - Hog and Ale Experience

Sweets / Ice-creams - Sweeties @sweetiesbeccles

Harpist - Zoe Anderson @zoe_anderton_harpist

Evening Entertainment - The Sax Walker @thesaxwalker

Afternoon Singer - Jazmine Honey Banks


Photobooth - Photobooth Express

Draping - Sam Race Venue Decoration @sameracevenuedecoration

Tableware and Linen - Banqueting Hire


bottom of page