A Jamboree of Colour at The Exotic Garden

Beth & Harrison

Beth studied horticulture in college, and loved visiting The Exotic Garden during a class trip there years ago. So when she and Harrison started planning their wedding, she thought it would be an amazing place to have the ceremony. The reception was held at The Birdcage, a bar in the heart of the Norwich Lanes. The combination of both of these spaces worked perfectly for their colourful, creative wedding.

Beth & Harrison

“A lot of our inspiration came from our own home”, said Beth, “which is filled with far too much clutter for people in their early 20s! We love finding vintage and retro bits (with a particular eye for taxidermy and 70s tableware), and our house is jam-packed with colour, art, taxidermy and antique bric-a-brac. I did a huge portion of the visual planning for the wedding and found a lot of inspiration came from festivals we enjoy attending together.”

Beth & Harrison

“We’re not an outwardly romantic couple, and we don’t really like being the centre of attention, but we’ve been through a lot together over the eight years we’ve been together and we really wanted to make that final commitment with our family a friends present. The main thing we were after was something relaxed, but also something that our guests would remember as being a really fantastic day. A few months before the wedding, we were trying to describe the wedding theme to one of the bridesmaids, and the only phrase I could find was ‘a jamboree of colour’.”

Beth & Harrison

“We are one of only a few couples to get married at The Exotic Garden, as very few people are aware that it’s there! It’s tucked away, just off from the main road near Norwich Train Station, hidden behind an office building. We have friends living on the next road who had no idea there was an actual jungle right in the middle of Norwich! Because there aren’t many weddings at the garden, the venue hasn’t got a marriage license, so we had to do the boring bit at the registry office a few weeks beforehand with my dad and aunt as witnesses. Dad was so shocked – we’d been telling him for weeks we needed him to be a witness for the legal wedding ceremony and it didn’t twig with him until we were actually in the room that it was a proper wedding, but without the guests. He didn’t even get the whole morning off work. For the wedding day, we decided not to arrange a proper officiant; there’s no point in paying hundreds of pounds to say a few words when they’re not even doing the legal bit, so we asked my Uncle Renny to perform the ceremony, which helped make the day a little more unique and memorable for everyone.”

Beth & Harrison

Neither spaces needed much in terms of the decor, but the bride made a few little things. “I made the succulent centrepieces as well as the confetti cones, and I enlisted the help of bridesmaid Ellie to make the ceremony backdrop and put together the pom poms and tassel garlands. The playlists for both the ceremony and reception were a months-long labour of love, in part to save money, and also because we can’t stand the usual old wedding DJ music. We wanted to include our favourite songs, as well as tracks that aren’t super popular but are fantastic to dance to. Our guests danced to everything from The Supremes and David Bowie to Cults and Wu Tang Clan. Our first dance was to Scout Niblett’s Kiss.”

Beth & Harrison

“The best part of the wedding for both of us was that we got to share it with our daughter. But when it was time for her to go home for the night, we really let our hair down together for the first time since before she was born and naturally got pretty hammered! The Birdcage designed some bespoke cocktails for us. A particular hit was the ‘Baby Berry’. Our daughter’s name is Tuppence Berry, so that felt really special. It was vodka-based and decorated with an edible flower. A lot of our guests got incredibly drunk on our baby’s signature cocktail!”

Beth & Harrison

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