Beautiful, dramatic, crazy perfection – a Newquay wedding blog

Morning everyone! How are you? I have a pretty amazing real wedding feature for you this morning – one that shows just how a wedding bursting with personality can be an incredibly memorable occasion. Katie and Tristan are the loveliest couple, and their Newquay wedding blog simply oozes with ideas and inspiration with a very personal touch.

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Katie’s written a brilliant wedding report to share with you so I will hand over to her as soon as I can! I must just say a huge thank you to the beautiful, beautiful bride – Katie, you’re a real star! And to her gorgeous groom Tristan as well for sharing such an inspiring wedding story. Their wedding photographer is Pat Kelman, based in London. Do check out his website – Katie and Tristan insisted on having Pat travel all the way to Cornwall for their wedding, which goes to show how special he is!

Newquay wedding blog Pat Kelman (2)Grab a lovely big mug of coffee and get comfy for today’s Newquay wedding blog – you will LOVE it! Claire xxx

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The Bride & Groom (& Eddie)

I’m the bride! I’m Katie, I’m 34 and I’m originally from Cornwall, I moved up to London when I went to university as a mature student back in 2006. Cornwall is very much my home in my heart and my parents still live there in our family home. I spent many years working in hotels including a number of years working with couples who were using the hotels as a wedding venue. Seeing so many weddings up so close left me with very clear ideas about what I didn’t want my big day to be like!! I’m a massive lover of vintage things and vintage style and a collector of everything!!!

Tristan, he’s the groom, is 35. He is a gym freak and last year started competing in amateur bodybuilding competitions. Tristan is about as ‘unwedding’ as they come!

Tristan and I met four years ago at a party after The Notting Hill Carnival – I was there on a very rare night out with my friend Vicky; I had just got back from 3 weeks in Thailand visiting my brother who was living there and Vicky had just got back from a music festival in Croatia. Vicky and Tristan had met in Croatia – had a little dance on the beach – and randomly were at the same party back in London just a few weeks later. I noticed Tristan’s Thai tattoo on his hand and we struck up a conversation before Vicky came over and officially introduced us. We had our next four dates in the next three days! It was a bit of a whirlwind relationship! Eddie arrived in September of 2010 and I gave up work to be a stay at home mum.

Eddie – he is probably the most important person in all of this, with both of us coming into a relationship with a belief that we would never have children we were blessed with Eddie almost immediately. On our wedding invite website we describe him as follows;

The most important person on the day of our wedding is our little boy Eddie. He is the glue that binds us together, we fell pregnant so early in our relationship that it is hard to remember a time when he wasn’t a part of us. Eddie will be nearly three when we say we do and we want our wedding to be about the binding of a family and not just the joining of two people. Eddie has been a complete joy since the day he arrived and he fills us both with happiness each day, as his character gets bigger and bigger we laugh more and more at the things that he says and the things that he does. He has shown us what love really is and we are so glad that he is sharing our big day with us!

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Katie and Tristan – a Newquay wedding blog bursting with personality

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Wedding Venue

To me there was no question over where we would get married – my parents have lived in their house since 1984 and there is no where else in the world that means home to me quite as much as this place. We both spend as much time as we can in Cornwall and it’s a place we both relax and feel happy. On top of the family connection Cornwall is one of the most amazingly beautiful places in the UK – if not the world – and we were excited to invite all of our friends to share it with us; loads of them were already big fans and lots had never been before! Initially I looked in to applying for a wedding license for my parents’ home but cost and logistics meant we looked at alternatives pretty quickly! Neither of us are traditionally religious and so we decided to book a registry office wedding. This meant that we could get legally married on the Friday with a very small group of friends and immediate family and then have a big celebration on the Saturday at my parents’ house. Having the small ceremony was great for us as it really took the pressure off the legal side of things and meant we could really focus on the Saturday.

My parents pulled out all the stops and worked themselves into the ground getting the gardens ready for our big day – I can’t thank them enough for the lengths they went to – they planted trees and shrubs and flowers and my dad spent night after night stood out on the lawn with a hose making sure that the grass stayed green through the very hot weather we had leading up to our wedding.

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Our wedding photographer – Pat Kelman, London

We got married on a very tight budget and there was simply no place in that budget for a wedding photographer – I simply discarded the idea, assumed that some friends and family would take some snaps and we would gather them all together and select a few of the best to create a small wedding album. As the wedding got closer and I read more and more blogs I kept stumbling across quotes from brides and grooms on the importance of a decent wedding photographer – I needed a massive re think!! I got in touch with Pat Kelman, who is based in London and asked him if he would be willing to travel to Cornwall for the dates of our wedding. He said yes. And he offered us a pre wedding shoot in London, we headed into London with Eddie on a beautiful sunny day and spent a wonderful afternoon with Pat. He was so relaxed and chilled out and totally and utterly accommodating of our little boy who was much more interested in playing guns with the group of local homeless people than he was in having his photo taken! He didn’t rush us or make me feel that I had to force Eddie to behave – instantly I knew that fate had dealt us the right hand. When we got the photos back from the afternoon we were thrilled – and for the first time since planning my wedding I started to be excited about the photos we would have to look forward to after the event rather than just accepting there would only be snapshots to chose from.

On the wedding day Pat was amazing – he arrived with us early and just fitted straight in, in fact until he pulled us all together for a few group shots just after our ceremony (nearly 7 hours after he had arrived) I was barely even aware of his presence – yet his photos prove he was indeed very much there and very much capturing the feeling of preparation and excitement. Pat’s experience as a film maker is hugely influential in his style of photography and every one of his images really tells a story.

We received our images and shared them with our friends and family – everyone raved about them – we were so thrilled! However one of my oldest friends hadn’t been able to attend the wedding – she lives in Canada now, her words moved me to tears and further enforced just how amazing Pat’s work is.

‘Thank you! My oldest friend has been captured in a unique way that only she could achieve!!!! Beautiful Dramatic Crazy Perfection ! I was so sad that we couldn’t be there but your photos have meant we can imagine exactly how the day went!!! You have no idea how lovely these are to see!!!! Thank you!’ The fact that someone who means so much to me but who is so far away felt that they shared our day was worth more than anything.

Wedding Style & Theme

Our wedding was always going to have a vintage element. I started off thinking that I wanted to go down the afternoon tea vintage style that has become so popular; chintz and flowers and teacups and tea pots, then I realised I wanted something slightly more unique and a bit more fun.

I used Pinterest every day – I pinned literally hundreds of images!!! I pinned anything I liked with no restrictions; I didn’t stick to a colour theme, I just pinned what I liked and watched where it took me – after filling two wedding boards I started with a third and focused on the sense of things I felt had dominated on my previous two boards. These included polka dots, bright colors, rainbow stripes, country style, braces! giant balloons and a lot of white!!! I called it Vintage Fairground. I wanted the vintage theme to cover the whole of our big day and so we told people what to expect – we invited them to join in with the theme and I was thrilled when I walked into the marquee on the day and saw so many trilbys, braces, petticoats and 50s frocks!!!

How Long Did You Spend Planning Your Wedding

We booked our wedding over a year in advance and we, or rather I, started planning almost immediately. Working to a tight budget it was really important to us to try and spread the cost of things and to get things when they were cheap – we bought a lot of things in the quarterly sales throughout the year including IKEA. The rest of nearly everything I picked up from car boot sales and charity shops. Despite starting to plan quite a long time in advance there were still a lot of decisions we didn’t make until the few weeks before the big day. I didn’t even buy the dress for my Friday wedding until 6 days before the ceremony and even then I didn’t try it on in the right size until 3 days before! I’m glad I waited on that one – it was only £60 in the sale!
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Best Bit of Budget Advice

Wow! We cut costs wherever we could and on top of that we asked people to get involved in helping out. I think that would probably be my best piece of advice; I was a bit hesitant at first and wasn’t quite sure how people would react to being asked to bring their own booze and asked to help out with decorations and craft things before the big day – but everyone was more than willing!! On reflection it was the best thing we did. Don’t get us wrong, we provided a lot of alcohol! But guests brought a lot too!! If we had a wedding in a hotel and guests had to pay over the bar for drinks they would have spent a lot more – from feedback most guests were thrilled to be able to bring their own alcohol – they could drink exactly what they wanted and not be limited by car charges. It also meant that we could pre-budget on alcohol rather than scarily awaiting the tab for a free bar or even a limited free bar!

My second best piece of advice would be concering your wedding dress – I paid £25 for my dress from a charity and paid a seamstress £45 to make alterations to it and add a colored trim to the petticoat that also came with the dress. Knowing that my dress cost less than £100 meant I could totally relax, I could sit on the grass, pick up my little boy and eat and drink and dance without worrying about ruining a dress that cost me a shed load of cash! Finally I would suggest reusing stuff for your wedding, not everything has to be new. The shoes I wore were red Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes that Tristan had bought me for my first mothers day after Eddie was born. I wore them a lot before my wedding and I will wear them again afterwards.
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Invitations & Stationery

We sent out save the dates as soon as we’d booked our wedding – we knew that lots of people would be travelling long distances to share our day with us and we wanted to give them as much notice as possible! As so many people were coming from overseas and because we had so much information to share we decided not to send out paper invites – instead we collated email addresses and we set up a wedding website on This was really easy to use – kept track of RSVPs and we were able to update it and ask people questions, put people in touch with each other and let people have access to a huge amount of information. We also used this for our wedding list (we asked for monetary contributions towards an eventual honeymoon – though made it very clear this was above and beyond and not essential at all).

I made name place bunting for each of the wedding party so they knew where to be seated – I used vintage lexicon cards from ebay. I also used the same cards for signs for the cake table, a friend Sammy made lettered bunting for the front of the table saying ‘let them eat cake’. I hand wrote all the other signs and used small ink stamps for other signs and messages.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

I wish I had a photo of the wedding dress I bought!! It was a 1980s full length, long puff sleeved number with a high neck – a turtle neck in fact! However it was £25, it came with the hooped netted petticoats and I loved the polka dot detail on the net layer on top. I bought it and took it home – I showed my mum and she was horrified – but I had a vision! I tried it on to find that it didn’t fit! I tried to get out of it and broke the zipper – mortified I had to call my Mum to come to my house and rescue me from it! I was stuck in a wedding dress! We couldn’t find the scissors and my mum used a kitchen knife to cut me free! I think she thought that was the end of it! Several times during the wedding planning phase Mum offered to take me wedding dress shopping and every time I simply said – no it’s fine – I’ve got my dress.

About 6 months before the wedding I pulled the frock out of the bin bag where it had been screwed up since the knife incident and I took it to see a fabulous seamstress called Emma who runs a small business from home making vintage reproduction dresses. I have several of Emma’s Oh Sew Vintage dresses and I love them – she is unbelievably reasonably priced and has a lovely eye for cut and finish. I pulled the dress out of the bin bag and pulled it on (I had lost 2 stone since I bought it so it did at least kind of fit now) and I told her what I had in mind. Luckily Emma understood and didn’t think I was mad and I left her to it!

A few weeks before the wedding I went for a fitting. Emma had cut the dress as I had asked her and was waiting for me to make a final decision over hem length, sleeves and neckline. I pulled on the dress and instantly felt content, that’s the best way to describe it – I felt happy, comfortable, like me and content. I told Emma then and there to just leave it as it was. Emma altered the length of the petticoat and she trimmed each of the 7 layers in a different colored bias binding – I couldn’t wait to hit the dance floor with my rainbow petticoat – it was and still is one of my favorite parts of the dressing of the day. I picked the dress up from Emma the day that I drove down to Cornwall – when I tried it on for my Mum later that day she was flabbergasted – I don’t think she could believe it was the same dress.

Glitz & Sparkle – Bride’s Accessories

I didn’t really have very much glitz or sparkle (I don’t even wear an engagement ring) what I did have was an amazing floral head dress – along with my petticoat this was one of my favorite visual items of the day! I saw a bride with a fabulous head dress a few months before my wedding – following the links to find out where she got it from I nearly fell over at the £800 price ticket and determined to make my own. The head dress I had seen was mostly white but I wanted colour and lots of it. A few weeks before the wedding two friends and I had a crafty afternoon while Tristan was on his stag do. I had asked them to bring fake flowers for a head dress. They turned up with 3 HUGE flowers – ‘this was all we could find – but you won’t want something this big in your hair will you?’. Yes please!!! Those flowers became the basis of my head dress – I kind of made it up as I went along using some garden wire to create the base to hold it on to my head and relying heavily on my glue gun I rummaged through my craft boxes and dug out smaller fake flowers, ladybirds, butterflies, buttons, crystals and gradually built it up into the work of art that it was on the day!! While I loved it I was aware that it wasn’t something everyone would wear and I was pleasantly surprised when the head dress received so much love on the day – I think I was more photographed from the back than I was from the front in fact!

Later in the evening I had a much smaller head piece that I changed into – it had two huge pink silk flowers and two small blue birds nestled into it.

For my old new, borrowed blue:

  • Old – dress, shoes, earrings
  • New – pants, garter
  • Borrowed – my wedding ring – I am wearing my mother’s wedding ring and while it is mine to keep I consider it borrowed from my mum
  • Blue – I had blue flowers in my hair, a blue bow on my garter and blue pants (from Primark)
  • The silver sixpence in my shoe I had done the day before!

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The Groom wore

Tristan bought his shoes in the sale a few months before the wedding, the ties we ordered as a job lot for the groomsmen in all different colors and Tristan picked up his shirt and chinos the week before the wedding – his weight changes so much with training and dieting that we couldn’t buy them too far in advance.

Beautiful Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids were all of very different coloring – early on I knew I wanted them to wear white; to start with I considered them wearing their own choice of dress as long as it was white, then Gemma came across some Asos dress on Ebay that she loved and I decided that they would be great for all the girls – I think they were £14 each. They were very plain white cotton dresses which we brightened up with sashes made of coloured net, and petticoats ordered from ebay at the very last minute for £7.99 each.

I asked the girls to buy their own shoes in matching colors to the sashes. I also picked up plain white pumps for them all in the Primark sale for £2. Over the year I picked up lots of vintage clip on earrings and they chose pairs to match their shoes and sashes. In their hair they wore double heart barrettes personalised with their nicknames – I ordered these through Etsy.

We had Gemma’s three daughters Gabby, Grace and Georgia as mini bridesmaids. Emma from Oh Sew Vintage made Gabby’s dress to a vintage pattern I got from ebay – Emma used a white fabric with a small white polka dot to tie in with my dress. The other girls’ dresses I bought second hand on ebay – they were plain white and I bought polka dot multi colored buttons to replace the white buttons down the back – Grace the youngest also wore fairy wings. All three girls had mini floral headbands.

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Hair & Make Up

We were very lucky that Tristan’s best girl is a trained make up artist and she very kindly came along in the morning and did all of our make up – again I used Pinterest to send Jane some images of the look I wanted and she did a grand job – I went for red lips all round and dark kohl vintage eyes – we were also all lucky enough for Jane to apply semi permanant eyelash extensions.

Another friend of ours Lucy is a beautician and she came along with Vicky and painted our nails on the wedding morning. We all had red nails, the bridesmaids had white spots on their ring finger and I had my ring fingernail painted white with a rainbow of polka dots. The mini maids had their toes painted red with white polka dots as they were barefoot.

I did all the bridesmaids’ hair – they all had something slightly different – just tied back and subtle with their heart barrettes. I did my own hair and hadn’t thought about it at all until the day when I fiddled around working out how to get it to sit on top of the head dress – basically it was just pulled back and let the head dress do the talking!

Jane kept our red lips topped up throughout the day which was also great as I don’t think I made it to the bathroom once all day!

Wedding flowers

We didn’t have flowers really – we had a few wild flowers picked and in jam jars around the place and some lovely bunches of lavender that a friend dropped round for us. However I made button holes for the guests and the groomsmen using scraps of fabric and Suffolk puffs with felt leaves – I left a basket on a table for guests to pin on and left the groomsmen’s in the basket with their ties – they forgot to put them on! I made my own bouquet from felt flowers and carried a small heart made of bells which was a gift from Jane. The mini maids carried multi colored lollipops and the bridesmaids carried giant helium balloons. I ordered these from ebay – they spelled LOVE – the girls and my nephew Corbin walked down with them in order and placed them on the back of the stage during the ceremony. These were another of my favorite things – they weren’t expensive and made a real statement as the girls carried them in and made a huge impact on the stage later. (until O popped and V & E flew away! O was later found being worn as a skirt on the dance floor by one of the guests)
Not having flowers was another area that really saved us money.

Wedding readings

As we were legally married on the Friday we were really free to do whatever we wanted for the ceremony on Saturday. I had asked my sister to perform the ceremony for me – she is 8 years younger than me and moved to Burma just a few weeks before Eddie was born – she had been back just once in that time and she would be arriving in the UK just a few days before the wedding so co-writing the ceremony involved lots of skype and email time!

I wanted the ceremony to focus on all the things that are important to us and important to what we think a wedding should be about – we wanted to include the children, we wanted to touch on love and friendship and family and what marriage means to us as a couple. We also wanted to pay our respect to Ben, Tristan’s friend who passed away last year and who would have been Tristan’s best man. I wanted the ceremony to combine fun with serious reflection and for everyone to feel involved and definitely not bored!

We started our ceremony with a children’s parade – all the kids were gathered together and given musical instruments and ribbon wands – they entered to Here Comes the Sun – Eddie is the sunshine in our lives as corny as it sounds and it was really important to us that the kids were involved and didn’t feel that they had to be hushed at any time – they all entered together and they sat in front of the adults’ chairs on the floor as a big group – they were all amazingly well behaved!

After the kids came the groomsmen and Tristan – they entered as a big group to Soul Man……. I was waiting for my moment at this point and I could hear everyone laughing and whooping and clapping. My bridesmaids and I entered to Hold On Cos I’m Coming. My Dad held my hand and literally dragged me down the aisle he was bopping so much – everyone was clapping and cheering and my auntys were out of their seats and dancing – looking back on it it really was the most amazing way to enter a ceremony! The tone was set for a celebration which was exactly what we wanted.

My sister included some Cornish language in the ceremony – a greeting of Happiness to You which required a response of Health & Prosperity to You, so at times throughout the ceremony all the guests were shouting back to her which was lovely – though pronunciation was questionable!

We had asked our friends Vicky (who introduced us) and her boyfriend Ashely to perform the opening piece. – We gave them free rein, we didn’t mind, a reading or a piece of music, a poem. We just asked that it focused on us as a family. What they performed totally exceeded any expectations – despite being 34 weeks pregnant Vicky jumped up on stage with Ashley, nodded to the DJ and they kicked off with a rap they had written about us! It was amazing – everyone was clapping and moving in their seats – the lyrics were fantastic and everyone was laughing out loud!

At the canal over West Katie saw Tristan in a vest His muscles rippled and their eyes locked And from that day they both rocked
And on this day we celebrate Tristan hitching up with Kate This amazing day has come to pass Drinks in hand and so first class
CHORUS Hotel , motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Hotel, motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Good times, these are the good times! Good times, these are the good times!
Along came Eddie to complete the crew Like Fred Flinstone ‘Yabba Dabba Doo!’ He loves to run around naked Like any free and happy kid
His turn of phrase is way impressive His intellect is frankly massive! Eddie’s smart and Eddie’s cool Because of mum and dads gene pool
CHORUS Hotel , motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Hotel, motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Good times, these are the good times! Good times, these are the good times!
Over the years they got really close Shiny muscles and loads of clothes Pumping iron and vintage gear Makes it work year after year
Now what you see is not a test All their friends here, dressed their best Now here we are no mystery The rest they say is history!
CHORUS Hotel , motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Hotel, motel, they made three Katie, Tristan and Eddie
Good times, these are the good times! Good times, these are the good times!

After the rap my sister talked of love and invited us both to read our personal vows to each other – we had written these privately and not heard each other’s words before the big day – I was totally shocked by how similar the promises we made to each other were. I was really proud of Tristan when he read his vows to me – despite pulling out his iPhone to read them from!

My sister and I had discussed the ceremony at length via skype and email and it was her who suggested to me about the hand fasting – I loved the idea. We had already done the ring thing the day before and so this was a way of reinforcing our bond and of asking our friends to be involved. Before the ceremony I had at random placed ribbons on seats attached to brown luggage tags. We had no seating plan so we genuinely didn’t know who would be coming up to tie our hands together – it was lovely to share moments with these random people as they came up in turn. Before the hand fasting Tristan’s best girl Jane read a piece on Hands:

These are the hands that will passionately love anc cherish you through the years and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as we build our future together.
These are the hands that will hold yours whenever illness grief or sadness may find you
These are the hands that will give you strength and tenderly hold your children
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours.

While our hands were played a friend’s daughter, Jade, played Babylon beautifully on the guitar, this was the song played at Tristan’s father’s funeral. We also asked all of our other guests to stand and reach out and hold hands with the people around them. This was lovely and everyone joined in and held hands – many with total strangers. The groomsmen all stood in a row all joined hands as well – big gruff men that they were! Again it sounds quite corny but you could really feel the love in the room at that point – I was so warmed by the fact that people were involving themselves in our joining.

My sister read this before we played a song for Ben;

Many of you here will have known and loved a special fellow who would have stood beside Tristan today as his best man. As a tribute to Ben and as a reminder to each of us to live each day as if it is our last, to never go to bed on an argument, to never be too stubborn to say sorry first or too proud to say I love you first, to always kiss each other goodnight, to hug our children tight, to spend time with loved ones just because, to forgive each other, to laugh together and to smile even when you feel like crying we would like to take a moment and listen to a special song.

We then had the DJ play Red Hot Chili Peppers Under the Bridge. Our last night out together with Ben had been to a Chili Peppers concert and this was the song played at his memorial service.

As we weren’t having a sit down meal we had already decided to do away with formal speeches however my dad and Tristan’s Best Girl Jane both gave beautiful speeches – my dad really threw himself into it sitting on the edge of the stage like a seasoned comedian!

My sister asked that everyone allow us to leave the marquee first and we formed a receiving line with my family – we left the marquee to the theme tune from Rocky!

General Styling

The main decoration on the day was bunting and pin wheels – we had about 150 pinwheels around the venue and we had over 400m of bunting – this was made from scrap bed sheets and table cloths by a friend of mine – it was perfect. When I went to speak to the marquee company about everything I tried to keep it all very neutral as I wanted the pops of color from the accessories to really stand out – we had white drapes, white lanterns, a pale carpet, a checker board dance floor which I loved, a star cloth over the dance floor, neutral chairs with no covers and white table linen – it really was a case of less is more.

On the cake table we had jam jars covered with washi tape filled with wildflowers and some vintage jugs, we had vintage side plates which I had collected over the year, vintage tea cups and saucers, for the toast we stacked up vintage Babycham glasses which I collected and borrowed for the day. We had a wicker basket for cards, some frames with photos of absent loved ones, some frames with poems, baskets with the fabric flowers I made, a basket of vintage hankies for happy tears, some bowls of bubble wands, jars of Newquay Rock for the kids, some sweets, we created a photo booth with a basket of props I picked up at car boot sales with the back drop of a felt heart curtain which I made and stitched together. We painted a large empty picture frame gold and left them with a chalk board sign for people to play with. We had white lanterns and tea lights for the outside tables when it got darker.

The day before the wedding I decided to create a photo board – last minute Larry strikes again! I drew freehand a caricature of a bodybuilder holding a lady above his head and my brother cut holes for people to stick their faces through – it was actually pretty simple but again it set the feel of our day as everyone walked past it on their way into the marquee.

The Wedding Cake

We didn’t have just one wedding cake – we had loads!!! As our ceremony wasn’t until 3pm we worked on the proviso that people would have had lunch before they came so for after the ceremony we focused on cake!! I asked my lovely friend Clare who runs Alegra Baking with her lovely friend Anna to bake me a variety of cakes. They were amazing – they turned up on the day with cake stands, napkins, labels for the cakes, everything! They made everything gluten free to accommodate me – we didn’t tell the guests! We had so much cake, lemon drizzle, victoria sponge, salted peanut millionaire shortbread, chocolate cake, carrot and walnut – the list went on! It was all amazing! We even had a raw chocolate and beetroot cake for the healthy bodybuilders at the party! I can’t rave about Clare, Anna and their cakes enough!

We also invited everyone who was invited to the wedding to bring a cake and some guests really excelled themselves – we had a mini cake competition and I handed out rosettes to the top three! We had several cake toppers – one I ordered from Etsy which was laser cut plastic that said It Must Be Love Love Love, I also made a few cake toppers with bunting – some paper and some fabric. Then our biggest tower cake had figures on top of it – lots of people comment on how much Tristan looks like Rocky so we bought a Rocky figure from Ebay and stood him in the champ pose next to a red headed figure of a female wrestler – meant to be me!


I think our ceremony itself was a part of the entertainment – what with a rap, a beautiful guitar piece and the comedy from my dad – however we kept the entertainment flowing! A friend of Tristan’s DJed for us – we asked guests before the wedding to send us in their song choices and he played these through the afternoon until the band took over at around 8pm.

After the ceremony we had booked a local Morris Dancing troop – Tywardreath Morris to come and dance – I did this pretty last minute, I got in touch with another old school teacher – Trevor Tanner and asked him if his troop was available – luckily it was their own village fete day that day but they agreed to come and dance with us after that around 5pm – perfect timing for after the ceremony. Everyone gathered on the lawn to watch them while drinking Pimm’s – it was like being at a village fete with all your best friends! For the last song they got a load of us involved and gave us white hankies – we were quickly shown a dance and the music started – my bridesmaids, Tristan and I with a few other guests clapped and danced and swished our white hankies – it was amazing! I would recommend booking a Morris Troop to anyone getting married in the summer they really set the feel!

The band started at 8pm – I booked them unseen and unheard so it was a massive gamble that paid off ten fold! We booked Play It Cool – the guys were awesome – they played covers and really worked the crowd – they played music from the 50s and 60s and they even grabbed Tristan and I to make sure we had a first dance – something we hadn’t planned on – we danced to their cover of Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – my sister danced with my dad and at the end of the song we all danced together – it was lovely. Much later in the evening the lead singer pulled my sister and I up on stage with some girlfriends and we all sang in turn – embarrassing but great fun!

Later in the evening around 11pm we had a fire dancer – we invited everyone out on to the lawn and we handed out glow sticks for the children and mini flames for the adults. She was amazing and it was lovely to break from the dancing and pull everyone together again to just be outside under the stars watching something quite unique.

Kids were really important for us on the wedding day – the majority of our friends have children and we wanted them to feel really included – obviously we have our own son as well and we wanted him to have something to look forward to for the wedding day as well. We hired a bouncy castle with a slide attachment, giant snakes and ladders, garden jenga and some space hoppers. A friend of ours who is a children’s party entertainer also offered to spend a few hours with the kids after the ceremony and she dressed as Minnie Mouse (for the ceremony as well) and played games and made giant bubbles with them – they loved her! Later in the evening around 8.30pm we booked a childminder, she sat in the quiet area with the kids and they cuddled up on sofas and watched films until their parents took them home, all the kids were pretty shattered and were really good about giving mums and dads some grown up time by this point.

On the day Tips & Advice!

Don’t forget the confetti! – We did even after my mum had spent weeks drying rose petals especially and another friend made special confetti cones for them to go in!

Enjoy it and try and hold hands! We didn’t seem to spend any time together on our wedding day – this is probably because I’m a control freak who was scuttling about making sure everyone and everything was ok while Tristan is a party animal who didn’t really move from the bar or the dance floor. Pat took us off for some photos on our own and this really was the only time apart from our first dance where we were together.

Delegate someone to get you ready! I spent most of my time being a control freak and making sure that everyone had all their accessories and details and hair done that I was literally left with about 10 minutes before the ceremony to get myself ready! Have someone on lipstick watch – this was invaluable to me as I had chosen to be red lipped. Make sure you have room in your dress to eat and drink! I popped a button on mine I was so determined to have a 24inch waist on the big day!!! Be comfortable, I was barefoot or in sandals for much of the day, I danced, ran about after Eddie and didn’t worry about sore feet once.

  • Dress – charity shop – altered by Emma from Oh Sew Vintage (facebook)
  • Shoes – Melissa Vivienne Westwood – The Dressing Room St Albans
  • Bridesmaids’ dresses – ASOS via Ebay
  • Bridesmaids’ shoes – Primark
  • Head dress – DIY
  • Marquee – Truro Marquees
  • Cake – Alegria Baking (Facebook)
  • Band – Play it Cool (Facebook)
  • Bunting- DIY
  • Fire Eater – T’Bliss Gemma (facebook)
  • Photographer – Pat Kelman
  • Hog Roast – Truro Marquees
  • Bouncy Castle – Claires Castles
  • Children’s Entertainer – Ana Rainbow (Facebook)
  • Morris Dancers – Tywardreath Morris

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • John Richards
    7 years ago

    A day filled with joy!

  • Pat Kelman
    7 years ago

    Thank you so much for featuring my work, Claire – and, of course, thanks to Katie and Tristan for choosing me as their photographer. It was a fantastic day and it was such a pleasure to be part of the celebration.

  • Awesome, great fun 🙂

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