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Cecil Gowing Infant School ‘Wedding Reception’ at Maids Head Hotel

Cecil Gowing Infant School ‘Wedding Reception’ Noa Davidson ‘groom’ and Amy O’Connor ‘bride’ cut the wedding cake.

We have been working closely with Cecil Gowing Infant School, Sprowston, on a project for 60 children (aged 4 and 5) who have been learning about all the activities required to plan and implement a successful wedding.

A week of planning culminated, on Monday 20 June with a ‘wedding service’ at St Cuthbert’s Church in Sprowston, followed by the ‘wedding reception’ and disco at the Maids Head.

Christine Malcolm General Manager, Maids Head Hotel explained: “Talula, daughter of our Wedding Co-ordinator, Amy Elvin, goes to Cecil Gowing Infant School. The school approached Amy and asked if she would go there and talk to the children about wedding planning, as part of their wedding week. We decided that, rather than just a talk, we would send team members to the school, including Amy, to assist the children in their preparations. In addition, to ensure that all the activities came together in a memorable celebration, we invited the children to the hotel to stage the wedding reception part of their big day, in our main function room, the 18th century Minstrel Suite.”

Amy Elvin, Maids Head Hotel Wedding Co-ordinator added: “It has been a wonderful project for us, the children have worked very hard in groups to plan all the traditional elements of a wedding reception, including transport, wedding clothing, speeches and wedding party roles, food and drink, table settings and place cards. Our Chef Elliott helped them make colourful cupcakes and Richard from the bar team made ‘mocktails’ at the school. It was also very special to work with my daughter Talula, who was the school’s wedding co-ordinator on the day.”

“Today did feel like a treat, something special to enjoy at the end of our reception year together, but it was also a carefully planned learning experience,” said Reception Teacher, Tina Callaghan. “At Cecil Gowing Infant School we want our pupils to have the best quality learning experience that we can offer. As a school we are passionate about covering our curriculum through drama. The wedding topic has been a great way to cover all areas of learning with the early years. We have seen how the children have been highly motivated and enthusiastic as we have worked through this topic. For example measuring the length of wedding clothes and dealing with money, writing wedding invitations and lists and designing and making wedding cakes.”

“We wanted every child to play an important role and solve real life problems and created teams that had responsibility for certain areas: stylists, refreshments, catering, florist, media and bridal party. To cover the cost of our wedding we held a Grandparents tea party and sponsored silence to raise money for the coach and craft materials.”

Eloise Moore Reception Teacher added: “We are thankful for all the support that we have received from the community and local businesses. We partnered with St Cuthbert’s Church and Rev’d Simon Stokes led a pretend service including a ‘messy church’ style craft workshop. Amy Elvin, a parent at our school and wedding planner at the Maids Head Hotel teamed up with us to make the wedding realistic and an extra special day by offering us the Minstrel Suite to host our wedding reception and a DJ to provide entertainment.”

“Camilla Brides from Sprowston visited to share what happens in a wedding dress shop. Tesco Norwich Extra Blue Boar Lane kindly donated a wedding cake and Laura Howard, a professional hairdresser, offered advice to our styling team. The wedding dress came from Oak Grove Community Church Charity Shop and lots of parents got involved helping donate costumes and attended on the day as special guests.”

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