Venue Spotlight | Holkham Hall, Part 2
We catch up with Belle Hutton, Event Manager at Holkham Hall to discuss her dream wedding day at the venue and wedding trends for 2021 and beyond.
What trends do you think we’re going to see coming through later in 2020 and 2021?
Clients are increasingly putting sustainability as a top priority for their events, and 2021 will continue to see a big growth in this. The stats are scary – for example, one wedding day produces the same CO2 emissions as five people will produce in a year. Clients are opting for venues that have a beautiful natural backdrop and don’t necessarily need lavish decorations that end up in landfill.
With the aim of a zero-waste wedding, brides might consider using wildflowers grown on the Holkham Farms (such as cornflowers of ox eye daises). Venison from our deer, beef from the cattle on the Holkham Nature Reserve and vegetables from the Walled Garden all give a nod to a reduction in food miles. Keep the touches local with beer or vodka distilled from barley grown on the estate.
Guests can also get involved with offsetting the carbon footprint of their event – by arranging a tree planting party on the estate! The perfect way to round up a fabulous event on a country estate.
What’s the most original thing you’ve seen in all your time working in weddings?
From personalised 30-metre-long aisle runners with the couples’ unique monogram made and shipped from New York, to sequined table cloths that are gold when you brush them one way, and silver when you brush them the other, the weird and wonderful elements of weddings are one of the best things about the job! Topping them all however, was a fabulous bride who worked in publishing. Using a colour palette of ivory, parchment white, soft ambers, rose golds, creamy peaches, smooth apricots and velvety champagne tones, she created three-intricate blossom trees. Standing at 2.5m tall – each of the leaves were crafted from the pages of all her favourite novels. A wedding surrounded by the greatest love stories of all time!
What would your dream wedding at Holkham involve?
Like every couple, I would definitely be looking to expand the celebrations; creating a dream wedding weekend that everybody talks about. We’re not just talking the wedding day – but everything from the rehearsal/night before supper for the bridal party, pre-wedding bridesmaid pamper parties, post-wedding day brunches and walks on the beach!
My wedding day at Holkham would start with an early morning walk on the beach with my bridesmaids before we started to get ready.
My guests would arrive via the 2km drive, through the South Gate, which gives that stunning first view of the Hall, with the sea in the background. The wedding ceremony would be in the Marble Hall, decorated with lots and lots of candles (definitely no such thing as too many) all the way up the stairs, and two big blossom trees at the bottom. I would have to make the most of the Holkham landscape, so after the ceremony my new husband and I would take a retro Land Rover Defender and go for photos on the beach and in the park, with champagne!
The rest of the day would take place in the Lady Elizabeth Wing, which would be set with two sweeping long tables with flower frames over the tops of the tables. They would be filled with all sorts of lovely scented foliage that would drape over the edge. Along the tables I would have peonies in pinks, whites and apricots.
The room would be lit with lots of candlelight and there would be some serious table-scaping going on! Think cool concrete-effect plates, gold cutlery and sage linen to tie it all together. We would also have a traditional three-course meal, whilst an acoustic band played old-fashioned twenties-style music.
During the dessert course, my husband and I might slip off for sunset pictures by the lake.
I would drape a canopy of fairy lights over the black and white tiled dance floor and use hot pink lighting to create a clubby feel for the dancing. I’d serve Espresso Martinis, there would be a band playing, lots of dancing and then evening snacks.
Then we’d leave on the back of a motorbike, with my personalised ‘Mrs’ leather jacket, to smoke bombs and zoom off to the Triumphal Arch where we would spend the night, before joining the weddings guests back at the Victoria Inn for breakfast the next day and heading out for a morning walk on the beach.