I can’t wait - we’re so excited! Couple set to tie the knot during Blickling Proms weekend

Suzanne Cooper and Michael Gaffaney set the scene at Blickling. Picture: Andy Dane/www.andydanephoto

Suzanne Cooper and Michael Gaffaney set the scene at Blickling. Picture: Andy Dane/www.andydanephotography.co.uk - Credit: Andy Dane

With only a month to go, it's time to shake out those picnic blankets and prepare yourselves for the musical sensations of both Classic Ibiza and the Great British Prom events at Blickling 11th-12th August.

The latter is now in its 7th year and has become a huge favourite in Norfolk's social calendar, so much so, that some guests are using the occasion to bring family and friends together to celebrate some of the biggest moments of their lives!

Step forward, Suzanne Cooper and Michael Gaffaney, from Thorpe, who became engaged back in 2015 and were looking for something really special for their big day.

Suzanne explained: 'We saw the event advertised and immediately both had the same idea! My parents had always wanted to go to the event and Mike's parents, who are from Wellington in New Zealand, now in the 70s were planning to travel over for what may be their last visit to the UK, so we thought that the Blickling Proms would provide such a wonderful memory for us all to enjoy on the eve of our wedding as it's such a fantastically British event that's enjoyed by all ages. We approached the organisers to see if it was a possibility to have a marquee and were told that it would be an honour to host the reception there.'

Following this, Suzanne and Mike contacted Blickling Hall to see if the marriage ceremony could be conducted at the Hall and from there, their dream, wedding day plans came together.


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'We're having our wedding ceremony at midday in The Temple behind Blickling Hall; it's a wonderful, intimate venue which will be ideal for us as we will just have both sets of parents and grown up children attending the ceremony; sadly, many of Mike's family are unable to join us because of the distance.'

The marriage ceremony will be followed by lunch at The Buckinghamshire Arms and then, in the early evening, their wedding car will pick them up and gently approach the concert site, dropping them outside the marquee which will look down over the lake and stage. 'We have around 40 other friends and family who will be joining us for the evening and I can't wait! We're so excited!'

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The concert lends itself well to special occasions, with previous special birthdays and corporate celebrations being hosted in marquees at the concert.

And it's not just the Great British Prom as Lisa Ward from Revival Productions said: 'This year we also have celebratory groups coming to the Classic Ibiza event which is fantastic, including Adrian and Amanda Dunham who founded the award-winning Gallery Haircutters in Norwich; they are bringing a party of around 40 to celebrate their special anniversary.'

Adrian said: 'We came to Classic Ibiza last year and it was such a fun evening we thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate our special anniversary.

It's a great way for us to treat our staff of 28 and others who have worked with us and supported us over the last 30 years, including photographers and make-up artists. We're going to give the marquee an Ibiza theme and we've also invited clients who are coming to the event to join us for a glass of bubbly so it should be a really fun night and we're really looking forward to it.'

The 'Ibiza' marquee will be in good use on the Saturday evening too with a different group of concert-goers. Jack Baxter and his wife Valerie from Taverham have been to all the Proms concerts: 'We have been coming with family and friends every year, since the first concert was put on.

'The deal is that I book the marquee through the organisers and then family and friends buy their own tickets and we all meet up there. It's a great excuse to get the extended family and different generations together whilst enjoying a few glasses of Pimms and taking in the atmosphere. We all thoroughly enjoy it!'

Lisa said: 'We are taking more and more group bookings each year. I think it's the atmosphere that attracts groups of people; it's such a fantastic setting to enjoy a special, memorable evening with friends.'

On Friday 11th August, Classic Ibiza will start the weekend off with its playlist of White Island party anthems being brought to life by the Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) and international DJ, Goldierocks. It will start with a chilled set and, as the sun goes down, the vocalists and USO's dynamic musicians will ramp things up as the evening breaks into festive-club mode with accompanying lasers bringing the biggest classical dance party of the year to Blickling; guaranteed to get everyone on their feet dancing!

There is, however, no guarantee that there will be tickets available on the night as it is likely to sell out. Tickets can be purchased in advance at £35; visit www.classicibiza.co.uk or call 01630 674342.

Saturday the 12th August sees the Great British Prom return and it promises to be the best yet, with a British feast of music from across the home nations being performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, led by Anthony Inglis.

The music in the first half will also feature Welsh Male vocal group 'Only Men Aloud' and the City of Norwich Pipe Band with tunes including 'The Dam Busters March', 'Bread of Heaven' 'Danny Boy' and 'Flower of Scotland'.

The second half features all the Proms favourites including 'Rule Britannia', 'Land of Hope & Glory' and British anthem 'Jerusalem'. The evening will finish with a stunning, fireworks display over the lake.

Tickets £35 (or £38 on the night). Visit www.greatbritishprom.co.uk or call 01630 674342.

At both events, car-parking is free and there will be food and drink available on site (including the Duck Truck, Hushwing Café, Ronaldo Ice Creams, Express Coffee and Carluccio's hampers which can be ordered in advance).

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