real wedding: elegant spring wedding {mel & mikey}

Hello lovely ladies & gents! I am so excited to share the final part of Mel & Mikey’s story today, after featuring Mel’s beautiful boudoir shoot and their adorable engagement shoot.  Captured by Norfolk-based photographer Katherine Ashdown, who’s work we just love here at b.loved, their day is full of light and laughter.  Mel makes the most stunning bride with her beautiful smile, elegance and poise, and Mikey makes a rather dapper groom in his three-piece suit accessorised with the funkiest wellies! (After this year I think they are going to be a wedding necessity from now on!)  With the backdrop of the gorgeous Narborough Hall Gardens to celebrate their day, Mel & Mikey decided to keep their decor and flowers simple and natural, bringing in their own personal touches and letting their beautiful surroundings provide the atmosphere.

Apologies in advance for the super long post, just too many gorgeous images to share!

Mel shares the story of their day (click here to read their love story and teary proposal) ~

I knew I needed a dress I could dance in and that wouldn’t break the bank.  I was worried I’d never find one as I knew what I didn’t want, however after asking to see the ‘sales rail’ at Dreams, I tried 6 on, and when my Mum started crying I knew the dress had found me!  I asked to try on a lacy sparkly bolero with my  dress, and got the look I didn’t realise I was after!  It also went well with my wellies, and even though I stood on it and ripped it before the photos were even finished, you can’t see the damage on any pics!

We went to the Dunston Hall Wedding Fair for a look around and amongst all of the glitz, glamour, balloons and banners was a table with an old fashioned watering can filled with beautiful wild flowers.  We walked past, 10 seconds later looked at each other and grinned – that was it, we were sold on Narborough Hall Gardens before we’d even met the wonderful Joanne, and before we’d seen what a bargain her utterly stunning venue was!  Joanne is full of creative, beautiful ideas; it was like she could see into our minds and created our dream day for us.

I loved the ceremony; probably the only part of the day where someone else was in control and I could relax!  Seeing Mikey crying as I walked in just made me laugh (sorry Mikey!) and I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much on one day.  I unexpectedly included Jedi (our cat) in my vows “everything I own, including Jedi…” – it was nice to involve her as she just didn’t seem up for wearing a bridesmaid dress… Around 20 of our friends and family hired accommodation in the village, so shared the before / during & aftermath (clearing up & hangovers) with us, which was really special.  The pure rush of adrenaline when finishing our dance was amazing.   Mum also surprised us with an 8pm speech complete with photos on a projector (that she’d had a nightmare organizing and had enlisted the help of several friends, my brother, and the catering staff!) – to my amusement it was mainly at the expense of the groom and best man!

The gardens of Narborough summed us up, we love being outdoors, and begged everyone to bring wellies so they could soak up the atmosphere.  We wanted our day to be natural.  It was a shame the weather was so cold that no-one saw the walled garden; however everyone who did bring wellies were grateful as they were much warmer than high heels!


Our table names were drinking venues from our student days in Luton; a nod to our roots! We filled flower pots with M&Ms (Mel & Mikey) chocolates.  The girls’ flower baskets were decorated by my rather talented husband with ribbon & flowers.   We hand-made our own place labels on gardening tags, with a black cat (Jedi) stamp on each corner. We made our own favours – crabapple jelly, chutney & sloe gin; all the ingredients came from ours and my Nan’s gardens, and the sloes from a tree near where my Grandad is buried.  We think he’d have chuckled when we hinted he may have flavoured the very delicious gin!  We also hired our dance teacher Donna to spend an hour teaching our guests to dance; was hilarious to watch our welly-clad friends dancing the cha cha cha!

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

We’ve been going to ballroom & latin dance lessons every week for almost 2yrs  as we wanted a hobby we both enjoyed and could do together.  As our friends and family therefore expected some kind of “Strictly” number, the pressure we put on ourselves was ridiculous.  Rather than a simple waltz, we opted for Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ which involved a waltz, jive and rock jive… Donna our teacher said it was the most complicated routine she’d choreographed in nearly 20yrs of teaching!  The terror we felt leading up to the dance was indescribable, we’d invited our ‘evening’ guests to arrive at 5pm (to make the most of the beautiful gardens) therefore the marquee was filled with 100+ critical judges at 6pm!  Watch it here!

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves for any one part of the day, as the relief & adrenaline you feel afterwards combined with dozens of celebratory sambucas from your dear friends, family & colleagues may mean you have no recollection of the final 2 hours of the night!   Do make time for just the two of you; this was the great thing about having lots of photos taken, Katherine slowed the day down into sections that we could absorb.  Only employ the services of people you like and trust – this is your big day and everyone will talk about it for years to come.  Joanne, Katherine and Anita were astonishingly professional and friendly; we didn’t need to worry about a thing on the day and knew if anything went wrong, they’d cope.  All our guests sang their praises afterwards and we also now consider them friends, which is a bonus for us!  Assign some friends / family to meet & greet & mingle with evening guests, that way everyone will integrate without you feeling guilty for only having 20seconds to say a brief hello to everyone.  (Thanks Mum!)



Photography: Katherine Ashdown // Dress: Dreams Bridal// Shoes:  Monsoon // Bridesmaids Dress: Dreams Bridal // Flower Girls Dresses: TKMaxx //  Groomswear:  Slaters // Save the Date: Charlie’s Cartoons // Invites & Stationery: by Grooms brother & printed by Star Editions // Venue: Narborough Hall Gardens // Bouquets & Buttonholes: Elizabeths // Guest Buttonholes: Starlings // Venue Flowers: Narborough Hall Gardens // Hair: Impact (01603 614904) // Makeup: Best friend Alex // Catering: Classic Catering // Cake: Grooms father, each side depicted a different hobby of ours from horse riding to sailing to swimming – and Jedi appears in each scene! // Music: The Bristol Johnson Experience  // Dance Instructor: Donna M Poole


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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