I love a wedding with a story, and with something different and personal to the couple – and for beautiful bride Claire and her gorgeous husband Matt the stories are absolutely incredible – as amazing as the images of their day.
The proposal is a story in itself: Matt was going to propose at the top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania but Claire broke her foot and couldn’t go on holiday, so the best man went instead. “John videoed Matt proposing to me at the top. He later showed me the proposal and asked for my answer at the top of Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains – 5 months later – they both kept the secret well!”
Their Cornwall wedding is absolutely beautiful: the hilltop theme continues with some of the most spectacular shots you can imagine – taken by lovely reportage photographer Alexa Poppe. Claire and Matt share some great advice with us in their interview below: to save money they say “Do as much as you can yourself. All of our church and table flowers were from the hedgerows or the garden and luckily we have some very talented flower arrangers as friends!”
But there are always some elements of a wedding it’s important to spend money on, and for Matt & Claire it was their marquee – you’ll understand why when you scroll through all of their images, and as they told me “we would never have had a view like we did anywhere else!”
Huge thanks to lovely Cornwall wedding photographer Alexa Poppe, whose images tell the story of Claire and Matt’s day so beautifully. I just can’t help smiling at such fabulous wedding photos… oh and those blue skies!
Discover more from Alexa Poppe Photography here:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Matt & Claire
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Recommendation from a friend who works on an estate where Alexa had done the wedding photography before.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Alexa was brilliant: very discreet, calm, and totally understood the kind of photos we wanted and that we didn’t want too many formal photos. We had a practice session with Alexa up at Crantock earlier in the year so we had a practice of the up close and more intimate photos! She made us feel completely at ease and we were able to have a bit of a giggle with her.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Alexa sent us a link to her facebook and her blog where she had put up a few sneaky peaks. We were thrilled with what we saw – everyone who was at the wedding was asking to see the photos from up on the hill, people are still talking about them now – it really was worth the time it took to get there!
Zennor church and then in a marquee in my Godfathers field which was behind my parents house. (Zennor, near St Ives Cornwall.)
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Great Views, Great Weather, Great Food, Great Company, (these were the most common comments received in the thank you cards to my parents)
Your wedding style or theme:
Rustic / Rural – Matt is a farmer and we have both grown up in the countryside so nothing else would have suited us!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
My sister got married 9 months before us and had already got some good contacts, which we used. We were really impressed with their marquee company (Absolute canvas) and their caterers (Rocs Catering – Anita and Ben were fabulous and worked so hard for both of our weddings), so that was two easy choices. The band was really last minute as the one we had booked pulled out the morning of the wedding due to illness. But one of my bridesmaids had the number for ‘Slap Dash Trio’ and they amazingly were able to come and were absolutely brilliant!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Do as much as you can yourself. All of our church and table flowers were from the hedgerows or the garden and luckily we have some very talented flower arrangers as friends!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The marquee for sure – we would never have had a view like we did anywhere else!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made our own Invites and orders of service which we kept simple but in a ‘rustic’ theme. The name places and table names were the most time consuming. My sister in law spent hours burning the names into all of them using soldering iron – everyone loved them and took them home with them so it was really satisfying.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I love my dress. I had a day shopping with my bridemaids to find it – only two shops but several dresses. I’m sad I won’t get to wear it again.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Serendipity in Weedon Northants. The dress was Jessica by Maggie Sottero
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I kept my jewellery very simple with pearl earings and a little pearl on a chain as the dress didn’t need anything more. My shoes were actually the ones I wore when I was a bridesmaid for my sister – so I knew I could last the day and dance in them!
Something Old – my christening bracelet, Something new – the garter, Something Borrowed – the veil from Jenny one of my bridesmaids, and something blue – my engagement ring has a Tanzanite stone in it to represent where Matt originally proposed to me. (At the top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – I broke my foot just before we were due to go so I had to stay at home and John who was Matt’s best man went in my place and John videoed Matt proposing to me at the top. He later showed me the proposal and asked for my answer at the top of Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains – 5 months later – they both kept the secret well!)
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
Traditional Morning Suits – Matt and several of the ushers had their own so we just hired a few more from Moss Bros. Mos Bros were not very helpful with their customer service in Milton Keynes, it was one of the most frustrating parts of organizing the wedding. Matt bought blue ties with white spots and multicoloured odd socks for all the groomsmen. (he always wears odd socks and this was his opportunity to get all his friends and our fathers too also!)
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We managed to get 5 matching Navy dresses from Phase 8 in the sale, we bought them all online and only had to change one for a different size – it was amazing and all the girls looked great!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired professionals, Katie who is my Godfathers daughter in law did all of our hair and Denise Jackson (Makeup and Beauty Cornwall) who did the make up for my sisters wedding also did our make up luckily she bought an assistant with her otherwise we would have had a really early start!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Jeni @ Twigs and Greens
Natural flowers – hedgerow and local. Our florist – who also had done an amazing job at my sisters wedding, really understood what we wanted with the rustic feel, and came up with beautiful bouquets and button holes for us all.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Jenny, one of my bridesmaids and her mum spent a whole day doing all the church flowers including the archway outside the church – they did an amazing job.
To get the rural theme we created a straw bar and card/present table with hessian sacking and rustic farm implements such as the wooden feed trough for the drinks and glasses and 2 wooden ladders covered in flowers and greenery which we hung between the poles in the marquee. We had a small amount of bunting and then hung Rhododendron flowers in jam jars all along the back wall so we had lots of colour especially when all the flowers were on the tables. The view out the front of the marquee was the main attraction though.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
The table plan – feather board. I loved making this as I totally surprised myself that I could be creative.
The name places and table names – as said before really rewarding that everyone loved them and took them home with them.
Table flowers – all in jam jars and herb pots – we again surprised ourselves with our flower arrangements.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Neither of us are big fruit cake fans and we both love cheese – so we had a cheese cake comprising Chedder from Davidstow, Colston Bassett Stilton, Cornish Yarg (each one purchased directly from the dairy) a pork pie and a small goats cheese on top. We still have some cheddar in our freezer it was massive!!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
As said before – Slap Dash Trio were our heros of the day and had everyone dancing all night. – we weren’t able to sort the DJ last minute so we plugged in a laptop and the band let us use their speakers.
On the day tips and advice:
Just keep calm – things will always work out fine – enjoy it all! Put together a bit of a timetable for hair make up and any other jobs so everyone knows what they need to be doing and time isn’t wasted. (advice given to me by Katie the hairdresser – I think she knew how disorganized I am)
What’s the best thing about being married?
Having a shorter surname and being able to finally call Matt my Husband!! We have lived together for 8 years so not much else has changed really.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Slap Dash Trio – http://www.slapdashtrio.com/
Rocs Catering – http://www.rocseventcatering.co.uk/
Absolute Canvas – http://www.absolutecanvas.co.uk/
Twigs and Greens – http://www.twigsandgreens.co.uk/
Photographer – www.alexapoppeweddingphotography.com