Waxham Great Barn Wedding // Eloise & Tom // Norfolk Wedding Photographer
This Waxham Great Barn wedding ticked all the boxes! Eloise & Tom went to town to put on a wedding that none of their guests will ever forget. One of the great things about Waxham Barn is it is a dry hire venue. You can do whatever you like and bring in whichever suppliers you please. This enabled them to create a wedding which was exactly what they wanted. Coming from a theatre background, I suspect Eloise and Tom’s guests were expecting to be entertained but I’d be surprised if any of them were expecting the wedding extravaganza Eloise and Tom created! There were animals (cute family Westies along with donkeys, snakes, alpacas, goats…), sing-a-long songs during the ceremony, flash mobs, sparklers, choreographed dances, pies, singing performances, a banging dancefloor and a trip to the beach! Of course, the other really great thing about a Waxham Great Barn wedding is that it is a stones throw away from the beach! Naturally, I was in photographer’s heaven! I asked Eloise and Tom a few questions about themselves and their wedding. Scroll down to hear their story.
How did you guys meet?
We met in our first term of uni at Trinity Laban in Greenwich, London. Tom was friends with one of my flatmates in halls and spent quite a bit of time at our flat. The first time we met, my flatmate got me to show Tom a photo of my vocal chords (I studied Musical Theatre and was having some voice issues) because he thought it was funny as they looked quite like another body part (google vocal chords if you’re curious). It wasn’t exactly love at first sight but we got close really quickly.
Tell me a bit about yourselves.
Tom grew up in Essex and after a gap year volunteering in Madagascar and Kenya, went on to train in classical singing at Trinity Laban, where he met me! Over the last few years, he has worked as an opera director, singer, kids party entertainer and teacher. Eloise grew up in Norfolk and since leaving uni has been performing in lots of different types of theatre. We run a children’s entertainment company together called Castle on the Cloud and have worked together on a few different performing projects as well. We both love dogs, board games and travelling to fun places on holiday.
How did the proposal go down?
Tom prepared a whole day of activities with riddles as clues. We went to a city farm, Wagamamas (Eloise’s favourite restaurant), to the theatre to see 42nd Street, ice skating, out for dinner and cocktails and on our way home, Tom proposed in the little park opposite our uni halls where we first kissed!
How did you choose your wedding venue?
We knew we wanted to have loads of guests, and didn’t want to get married in a church, so we needed a venue that was licensed for ceremonies. We also wanted to keep costs down by keeping it quite DIY, so that quickly narrowed down our choices. Because we’d decided we wanted it Norfolk as well, Waxham Barn was the only clear option and it was just perfect for everything we wanted.
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
I think all of our friends and family expected our wedding to be a bit ‘extra’ and I wasn’t going to let them down. I wanted everyone to go away saying ‘this was the best wedding ever’ (I’m not competitive, I promise). I think the most important thing for both of us is that everyone was able to just chill out, never get bored and completely let their hair down.
Can you describe some of the details and stylings; did your wedding have a theme?
We kept everything very rustic and bright. We didn’t really have a colour theme – the bridesmaids were in all different shades of blue, the groomsmen were in navy with yellow ties, the flowers were just whatever was bright and in season from the flower stall in Norwich Market and arranged to look amazing by my Godmother, Fran. Tom’s parents made all the bunting and found all the buckets, ladders, baskets and everything else to dress the venue.
What was your best decision during the wedding planning?
To just trust other people to take charge of making decisions. My uncle’s partner, Michelle, made the cake and I basically just said ‘surprise me’, my friend Joe did the makeup and I just asked him to do anything that looked nice and my mum did a lot of the food and drink organising and delegating jobs to everyone. There was no way we could have got everything ready on our own, so just letting everyone help and trusting that they would take care of things was important so we could stay sane!
What was the hardest decision?
Probably which songs we wanted on the playlist for the disco, there are two many bangers for just one night!
What were your favourite memories of the day?
Everyone singing ‘500 miles’ in the ceremony, going to the beach for our sunset shots, the flashmob, the animals, the speeches, there’s too many I could go on forever!
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Don’t get caught up on the small things or try to micromanage. If you’re too set on exactly how you want your day to be, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. Keep an open mind, be up for changes and let people surprise you. Don’t spend ages on decisions that aren’t that important and always think about the experience that you want you and your guests to have.
Eloise has recently launched a DIY wedding YouTube channel in which she offers some great advice for couples thinking about having a DIY wedding. Go check it out for some more wedding planning ideas and follow her on Instagram here.
Superstar wedding suppliers who helped make this wedding amazing:
Venue: Waxham Great Barn
Dress: Needle & Thread
Glitter bar: Face ‘n’ Glitz
Food: Pie Central
Donkeys and other animals: Scratby Donkeys
Makeup (done by a friend): Joseph Barnes
Venue styling and flowers (done by a friend): Fran Elliott
Videography: Lee Allison
I’m a Norfolk Wedding Photographer who travels all over the country and beyond capturing beautiful weddings. If you’d like a Waxham Great Barn Wedding Photographer, or a wedding photographer for anywhere in the UK or further afield, please do get in touch!