We’re always keen to hear about unique and unusual wedding venues and so when one of our stylists told us that she’d done a shoot in the Theatre Royal in Suffolk we were keen to see what transpired.
The beautifully restored, 200-year-old theatre is in Bury St Edmunds and is now licensed for both marriages and civil partnerships. First built in 1819, it was restored to its Regency design in 2007. As Grade 1 listed building, it is the only theatre in the National Trust portfolio and the last working Regency playhouse in the country. You can get married onstage, literally, whilst your guests watch the proceedings from the auditorium. If you want to have a big wedding, then this might be the place for you as the theatre seats up to 335 people.
We asked our Suffolk stylist, Tina, how the shoot in the Theatre Royal Suffolk had come about. She said:
“When I started my business in October 2017 I headed out to visit the venues in my area. I wanted to include some of the more unusual places you can choose for your ceremony and celebration. I have always loved this beautiful, iconic building in the heart of Bury St Edmunds and knowing they could host your wedding was really exciting. I met first with the theatre events coordinator, Lucy Williamson, to chat about the venue and how weddings were planned there. Then later with Alison Harris, a local photographer, who like me thought this was such an exciting opportunity.”
If you’re a fan of costume dramas on television and love the Regency period, then there couldn’t really be a better setting for you. A location like this has history and great charm. So it was ideal that Tina, who knew the venue well, decided to show just how beautiful it could look when professionally styled for a wedding.
We asked Tina how she came up with the themes for her styling in these photographs. She explained:
“Alison the photographer and I came up with the Celestial theme, which was very on trend and something we felt would work well on the stage. The dresses from House of Snow had a celestial twist too. Working on the stage enabled us to use a beautiful starlight backdrop, amazing lighting and even dry ice! The stage staff were wonderful.
In the auditorium seating we put large LOVE letters which worked really well.
Tina looked carefully at accessories and chose some key pieces. Unusual wedding venues like this one need imaginative decisions and when you look at the photographs we think you’ll agree that Tina made some excellent choices. We asked her which she felt were key.
“I decided to use navy blue taffeta with metallics because I thought it would look stunning under the theatre lights – and it did. We wanted to make use of the space, so suspended candelabras and huge balls of ferns above the table setting. I borrowed an antique globe and telescope from Glasswells home department store in town. With lots of clear and a splash of blue glass, the mix of ferns, orchids and alliums on the table was tactile and inviting. We also added a sweetheart table and cake table with more foliage and glassware.”
The beauty of space
We asked Tina what she thought had worked particularly well in the venue. Space was a big plus it seems.
She explained: “We were so fortunate to have so much space to work within the auditorium, as well as the stage. Even the areas backstage were available to us for the models’ hair and make-up.
We wondered if Tina had come across any challenges dressing a theatre for a wedding but she said that everything had run smoothly and all the suppliers had really pulled together as a team, working well together. She gave a particular shout out to Jo Thorndike of florists VV Raven, saying “She brought the most amazing mix of faux and fresh flowers and foliage. When they filled the table and other areas within the theatre a botanical element was born.”
Every wedding our stylists create is different and there’s always an element within each design which is dazzlingly effective. We asked Tina what she had loved most about the shoot in the theatre. She replied:” I love the deep colours, the flower choices and the beautiful lighting, all of which creates a great atmosphere. The look is really different and exactly what we were hoping for.”
If you like the idea of exploring unusual wedding venues and would like to investigate marrying in this stunning Regency theatre, then you can get in touch with Tina here. Alternatively if you live in the Suffolk area and would like some professional help to make your wedding, wherever the venue, look it’s very best, then get in touch with Tina who will be happy to chat. She knows many beautiful places from which to choose in the vicinity and has masses of ideas. See if we have a venue stylist near you by visiting our home page.