Is anyone else growing sunflowers? Mine are on the petite side… and I’m sure they’re meant to be as big as me! #notagardener… Unlike Elizabeth’s glorious sunflowers (by lovely Natasha at Pumpkin & Pye), which set the scene for a brilliantly sunny, beautifully styled and superbly photographed real wedding on the blog today!
I have so much to show you and Elizabeth and Daniel have shared a fantastic English Wedding Blog interview full of helpful advice, tips and wonderful enthusiasm and passion – they brought a tear to my eye with this:
The best thing about being married? “Having grown up together and been together for 15 years it is the icing on the cake – it completes our journey together. And it’s a great excuse to throw a brilliant party!”
The location is close to my heart. A beach wedding outdoors would be my dream come true. It’s unconventional and wildly beautiful, fun and encourages creativity. And speaking of beautiful… Elizabeth is stunning in her dress by Charlie Brear which she chose before she’d even seen it!
Images are by lovely Mark at Evolve Photography in Devon. Find out more here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Daniel and Elizabeth
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Mark was a delight to work with. From our first meeting we knew that he was the perfect photographer for us. I had done a lot of research online and loved the style of his website and social media.
Myself and Daniel both felt immediately comfortable with him and knew that he would be able to capture the images we wanted. We also felt that Mark’s service was much more personal than many other photographers I’d looked into. We were able to tailor a personal package so we got exactly what we wanted without being trapped by ‘set deals’.
Tunnels Beaches; Ilfracombe, North Devon. This was the only wedding venue we actually went to visit in person. We instantly fell in love with the place, and booked it the next day from Glastonbury festival. We really wanted a beautiful outside venue that was a little different, that would allow us to have the relaxed bbq reception and party afterwards that we wanted.
The whole Tunnels team were amazing, nothing was too much trouble for them. The whole day from the food to the entertainment was tailored for us. Tunnels also gave the advantage of being able to offer family accommodation on-site at the Bathhouse. We were also able to host a paella evening meal to all guests that had travelled the evening before the wedding at Café Blue Bar, which was also at the same location.
Monday 22nd June 2015
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Glorious BBQ by the sea, at a wonderful venue.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
Absolutely incredible! As a photographer myself, this was one aspect of the wedding that I had a very definite idea of what we wanted. I don’t like a lot of traditional wedding imagery and really wanted relaxed informal candid pictures to capture the feel of the day. I am delighted with the photographs we have seen so far. Mark was a pleasure to have as part of our day.
Your wedding style or theme:
Relaxed beach theme, with a twist on boho chic.
Where did you find your suppliers?
Mainly through online research. Pinterest and Etsy are great places to get ideas.
Best bit of budget advice?
Don’t be afraid to look outside of the normal ‘wedding suppliers’. As soon as you put the word ‘wedding’ in front of something the price rockets!! Many of the individual touches of our day were sourced online from regular websites. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help; we have many incredibly talented and creative friends that played a huge part in creating our day.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
Our wedding invitations and stationery were bespoke designs made especially for us. We used the hugely talented Laura Knight who is a modern British designer whose work spans print, illustration, graphics and product. For our ‘Save the Date’ cards we sent out vintage style postcards using Victorian text styles and sketch imagery of the venue. These were printed on recycled card. Our wedding invitations played on our beach theme and we sent message-in-a-bottle invites. Again the design work was provided by Laura. We sourced the bottles from Wares of Knutsford Glass Company, and the sand and shells from local beaches.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I knew that my dress was the one I wanted before I even saw it. I went to the London store to buy it as soon as we had booked the venue
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I went for a Charlie Brear vintage inspired dress – 1920 Lalique. The dress had a drop waist, low back, and beautiful lace detail over the silk of the skirt.
My boutique was created by Natasha Gawthorne of Pumpkin & Pye. It was a wildflower boutique with sunflowers, daises, cornflowers, scabies, craspedia, thistles, astrantia fountain grass and gypsophila. It was bound with twine.
The bridesmaids carried smaller similar versions of this.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
My shoes were electric blue Christain Louboutin Rolando pumps. I don’t particularly like conventional wedding shoes so we went for the funky look. To complete the vintage look I carried an ivory lace parasol that was a gift from a family friend in America. For jewellery I wore a necklace sewn into the low back of the dress. This was an art deco diamond pendant I bought from an antique jewellers based in New York and had sent over. For my something borrowed a very generous family member lent me their diamond and platinum earrings.
My wedding ring was also an antique, bought from Jenny Jones in Manchester, and my stunning platinum and diamond trilogy emerald cut ring was bought from the jewellery quarter in Birmingham.
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
I wore an off-the-peg 3 piece suit by The Kooples. I then had the suit tailored by James Personal Tailor & Son in Manchester, who did a fantastic job. The shoes were black leather Snare boots from All Saints.
I also wore cuff links made from Soapstone brought back from the Far East by my Grandfather. The wonderful Chris Hallam of CH Jewellery Design in Sheffield set the stones in silver and had my initials and date of birth etched in to each cuff link. Chris also made my wedding band – a palladium band with a brushed finish. Not bad for an ex-professional rugby player!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We wanted the girls to have different dresses, shoes and accessories to reflect their own personal style. I also wanted them to have something that they actually liked and would wear again. We did not use traditional bridesmaid’s shops for the dresses. My maid of honour wore a dress from Free People, a site that does beautiful boho style clothes. The other adult bridesmaid dress was from Asos. Our flower girl dress was from an Australian company called Tea Princesses. Funky shoes was definitely the name of the game, with little sparkly converse for Macie, the flower girl, and wild heels for the girls from Irregular Choice and Public Desire. The girls all wore their hair differently with a theme of plaits and white flowers to tie the whole look together.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I am very lucky that my Aunty is a professional make-up artist with Chanel so of course I wouldn’t have considered asking anyone else!
For our hair, I spoke with several stylists but decided to go with Maddie Pearce, a south-west based make-up artist. One thing that really appealed to me about her site was that in addition to having vast wedding experience, she also works extensively in in national and international TV, film, advertising, editorial, fashion, catwalk and red carpet events. I thought that her contemporary feel would be perfect for the look I was hoping to achieve. We did a hair-trail for my style which I loved, which was then tweaked for the big day. I really wanted unconventional slightly messy up-dos with flowers to finish. We spent time discussing different styles for the bridesmaids which were tied together by all featuring plaits and white flowers.
She was a pleasure to work with and even squeezed in a few last minute additional dos on the day.
For our flowers we wanted English wildflowers with a few sunflowers and gerbera included. We thought that this would work well with our outdoors relaxed theme. We had meeting with several florists before we booked Natasha from Pumpkin & Pye.
We wanted to have mason jars filled with the wild flowers to act as both the decoration for the isle and then for table decorations. Like the boutiques the jars were filled with sunflowers, daisies, cornflowers, scabias, craspedia, thistles, astrantia fountain grass and gypsophilia.
Our flower girl carried a small retro bucket filled with colourful daisies (and some Lego that she’d added) – the plan was to hand them out on the walk down the aisle. This didn’t happen in the end but they looked gorgeous as Macie carried them.
In addition to the flowers Natasha also made our confetti which was dried petals to match the colours used.
Natasha was incredibly helpful and brought so much insight to the day, recommending flowers that would be able to withstand the breeze, scents that complimented each other and suggested alternative flowers for back-ups.
She guided us through the whole process with ease. Neither of us is particularly green fingered, but she was able to quickly understand the look we were after and create it beautifully.
We had so many compliments on the flowers and we even took our bouquets with us to Glastonbury to decorate the camper van. I absolutely loved the flowers.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Tunnels beaches is a venue that requires very little additional decorating. The spectacular back drop of the sea and beach mean that there is very little requirement to add more. The venue itself has a very contemporary look and already has some very tasteful pieces in the bar areas and outside.
The outside space is also decorated with strings of lights, we found that all we needed was our flowers.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
We had a few hand-crafted elements to the wedding. The centrepieces for each table were going to be simple log slices. When we saw them on the day we realised they had an additional piece in each which was a laser-etched wood insert that had the image used on our save the date cards. A few friends even asked if they could take these home as souvenirs! These were created by the partner of the maid of honour.
We also hand crafted 25+ lightbulb mini-vases to decorate the gazebo structure we were married in. They were hung at different heights around the gazebo using twine. Our florist, Natasha, used wild flowers that matched the bouquets in these mini-vases. Guests and staff alike made lots of positive comments about the lightbulbs, they were definitely a big hit. The lightbulbs were just regular bulbs bought from eBay which the mother-of-the-groom removed the elements from and prepared for use as vases.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Our wedding cake was made by another one of our talented friends, Corinne Beedham. We wanted a simple wedding cake that we could actually serve as dessert during our wedding meal. The cake was a lemon sponge coated in lemon frosting and server with summer berries. Beautiful!
We had live music on the day. Guy Connor played acoustic guitar for Elizabeth’s entrance and walk down the aisle. After the meal Guy also played several cover songs for everyone before playing 2 final songs that were our first dance(s). Guy also DJ’d for the rest of the evening. He really knew what songs to use to keep people dancing all night. Brilliant all the way through!
On the day tips and advice:
I know it’s a cliché but take the time to enjoy the day with your other half. They are the reason you’re doing this so make sure you enjoy it with them. Try not to get too stressed in the morning. Remember that the florist, stylists, photographers do this kind of thing all the time, so they know what they are doing!
Don’t drink too much, too early.
Don’t worry about the bottom of your dress getting dirty….. It’s inevitable and just shows you’ve had a good party!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Having grown up together and been together for 15 years it is the icing on the cake – it completes our journey together. And it’s a great excuse to throw a brilliant party!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
http://www.pumpkinpye.com – Natasha Gawthorne – Florist
www.evolvephoto.co.uk – Mark Gawthorne – Photographer
http://lauraknightstudio.com/ – Laura Knight – Wedding Stationery
www.chjewellerydesign.com – Chris Hallam – Groom’s wedding ring and cuff-links
www.jennyjonesjewellery.com – Bride’s wedding ring
http://www.southwestmakeupartist.co.uk/– Maddie Pearce – Bride & bridesmaid’s hair stylist
www.guyconnor.com – Guy Connor – Musician & DJ
http://www.waresofknutsford.co.uk/– Glass Mason jars for invitations
http://www.charliebrear.com/collection-2015/ – Wedding dress supplier
http://www.teaprincess.com.au/ – Flower girl dress