I adore Natalie and Gary’s seaside wedding in Cornwall- the portraits on the beach are fabulous, I adore the light and the setting – and Natalie’s bouquet is stunning! So colourful 🙂 I think you’ll LOVE this so grab a cuppa and enjoy…
Natalie looks incredible in her wedding dress, and all the more so when you read her honest thoughts about dress shopping – I just LOVE the advice Natalie has shared in her English Wedding Blog interview.
“I didn’t fall in love with my wedding dress until the day! All I can say is… What you think you want, probably won’t be what you go with! Be open to styles, trust those around you too. I must’ve tried on 70 dresses… I became dress blind… I was fed up… I was fussy…
It’s such a huuuuge thing, that every time I thought I’d found the one, I slept on it then hated it the next day. I was fixated on dresses with a high neck line, I didn’t want lots of detail and jewels, and I didn’t want to spend more than £1200…
“I ended up going for strapless, sweetheart, fishtail, lots and lots of detail, a longer train than expected, and double my budget! Hehe. It was the first and last dress that I actually felt like a bride in, and my entourage that’d previously say through 70 dresses all cried when I walked out in this one. It was the winner!
It’s a huge deal, hoping your husband is speechless when he sees you, hoping you look back over the years thinking “Yes, I totally rocked that dress” and I’m still yet to find a to-be-Bride that is 100%. Needless to say, on the day, when the hair, makeup and jewellery came together, and my excitement kicked in, I knew at that moment it really was the perfect dress for me! I look back at photos sooo happy, and actually yes, I think I really did rock that dress!”
Images are by lovely Anna & Mike at Luna Photography, who shared their thoughts on Natalie and Gary’s gorgeous day:
“Natalie & Gary are such a warm and vibrant couple, they were so welcoming and friendly and we had a great rapport from the very beginning so we’d looked forward to their wedding for some time. I’m not sure if Natalie & Gary knew this but we had originally chosen 30th April for our own wedding date but Natalie was so lovely when she first got in touch we put our wedding back a week. Another particularly memorable thing about the wedding was the emotions running up to it, Gary almost had me in tears while he was waiting, and as a seasoned wedding photographer, its not often that happens to me! (Anna).”
Watergate Bay is fabulous, it’s in a superb location and the great thing is it’s so lovely inside that if the weather isn’t great that it’s still a lovely venue.
Anna from Luna Photography shared their email response from Natalie after seeing the images:
‘What can we say… Utterly speechless… Watched it twice… Cried twice… Thank you both soooooooo much! We cannot put into words how grateful we are to have such talented photographers capture our wedding! You honestly are out of this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t think it’s sunk in yet just how amazing they all are!!
We are sooo over the moon I could kiss you both!!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!’
The English Wedding Blog interview: Gary and Natalie
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Being 270 miles from our wedding venue, we had to base our decision on style of photography and vibe from the photographers. After a great face time session, we knew instantly than Anna and Mike were going to be 2 extra friends at our wedding, as well as being fantastic photographers to capture our special day!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
More than pleased!
We had the best engagement shoot in Dawlish Warren, our puppy Buddy was just 6 months old and was totally obsessed with Mike from the offset. Anna and Mike made it feel so easy and natural, nothing cheesy, nothing structured! It meant the ice was broken for the big day, no nerves requires! We’d have enough nerves on the day to be battling with! We had the best time and in the lead up to our special day they kept in close contact… I could feel Anna’s excitement for us, especially as I knew she herself would be a beautiful bride the week after me. I gave them a small list of key group shots to get, but just as we suspected; their natural shots are our favourite. They ooze fun, they behave in such a way that it makes everyone around them super relaxed… Just what we wanted for our coastal wedding!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
I cried… I cried some more… And actually even he (groom) shed a few tears! We were able to relive the entire day again, I could feel my butterflies come back, I could hear my mums laugh, I reminisced on my father gasping when he saw me for the first time. They capture every moment… Moments I didn’t even know existed! My husband was speechless! He’s not a selfie fan, not a huge fan of seeing himself in photos… But he now has our wedding pictures for his Facebook profile, his phone wallpaper, even in frames in his man cave! Each time we revisit them, we see an extra layer of depth. We’ve had so so many compliments from people about our photos… Now I know we’re bias and love these guys, but we’ve had comments from so many people acknowledging just how magical and talented this pair really are!
Watergate Bay Hotel
Special mentions to some amazing people: Alison Payne, Virginia Taylor, Andrea Polaczek
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
The cliche was reality… The best day of our lives!
Your wedding style or theme:
No real theme, the dream was to create a relaxed, fun, amazing day for us and our most special friends and family!! We nailed it!!
As for decor… Spring vibes, with bright pastel tones and a good ole chevron here and there!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Event styling including flowers – Elle @ Inspire Hire (seen at Watgergate Bay Hotel before) http://inspire-hire.co.uk
Cake maker – Cupcake Mama – Google search and having fab social media pages. http://www.cupcakemama.co.uk
Band and DJ – hotel recomendation, Ben is awesome and a few tasters YouTube meant we could see a snippet of how amazing they all are… Ben Sutcliffe and The People’s String Foundation
Photographer – Google – Luna. http://lunaweddings.co.uk/mobile-homepage-devon-wedding-photographers/
Videographer – Google – Pete Cox. http://petecoxphotography.co.uk
Favours, recommended by Elle: http://www.littlelollipopshop.co.uk
Hair: Recomended by Natasha my makeup artist – https://m.facebook.com/simoneknyita/
Makeup: Google – http://www.natashaflower.co.uk
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Sweets corner – go for Marks and Spencer’s packets and some EBay plastic jars rather than an expensive sweet cart company!
I didn’t go mad on favours, they can really add up and I’d only feel let down if I saw them left at place settings! I’d be chasing my guests shouting “Hey! Don’t forget your overpriced wedding favour that I got mugged off buying!!!”. I got let down 2 weeks before by a supplier making candles, and in a hurry I found the most beautiful lollipop supplier who turned around a fresh batch within 3 days for me. Rest assured none of these were left on the tables, they feature in many pictures as people indulge in them after dinner. They also made my place settings look even more beautiful. Please add the link here to the amazing supplier of lollipops: http://www.littlelollipopshop.co.uk
Oh and all my tea lights were from Primark!!! I spent months buying samples from Yankee, The White Company, John Lewis etc, and my fave ended up being the cheap Primark ones! The smell lasted for ages and we bought loads as they were so cheap meaning we had candles all day and night!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Videographer!!! The day is such a blur, it goes so fast and you only see the day in your eyes. Having it filmed meant we could relive the day from other angles, relive the emotions and feelings, relive the laughs and love!!! We found Pete online and he was awesome from the start. We now have a highlights video, as well as the full ceremony and the full speeches! I would recommend a videographer to everyone. I have watched it too many times already, and shown it to soo many people that we didn’t have attend the wedding. They’re all blown away! Here are Petes details: http://petecoxphotography.co.uk
The pre-Wedding dinner and free bar on the day!!! Our guests travelled a 540 mile round trip, spending oodles on fuel, took at least one day off work and spent money on coastal accommodation. We were so grateful that everyone invited, accepted the invite! The least we could do was make sure that the weekend itself cost very little. Having such a small wedding, we wanted it to feel really close knit and an exclusive celebration! We paid for dinner the night before the wedding, for all our guests. We went to the Old Custom House on Padstow Harbour front. It was a great way for all the guests to meet (although everyone has pretty much met already over the 8 years Gary and I have been together) and a nice way for people to start their weekend away, and recover from the long journey.
Come Saturday (the big day) everyone was really close, everyone got on so well, and people were mixing as if they’d been friends and family for years. It was beautiful to see. The free bar on the Saturday went down incredibly well. No-one peaked too soon, everyone paced themselves but by 9pm it was great to see the non-dancers owning the dance floor and people enjoying refreshing Tanquerays and Prosecco like they were going out of fashion!
Our wedding was a celebration of love, laughter and life. Having created an atmosphere so comfortable, with everyone mixing so well, was the best!!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Elle @ Inspire Hire recommended an incredibly talented lady called Nikki! Her work is incredible and she was soo great to work with. She creates beautiful wedding and occasion stationery, I’ll be using her again for sure (for a big occasion and not another wedding!! Hahah) http://www.knotsandkisses.co.uk
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Bridal boutique with the most amazing Laura and Claire at The Ivory Wardrobe – Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes
The dress: Mori Lee Madeline Gardner 2623
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Swarovski for a matching set of earrings and necklace. I need something simple, as my dress was so detailed, and I was really particular about how I wanted a small pearl to sit in the small dip of my neck! Swarovski gave great customer service and were really reasonably priced. I loved it!
My shoes were Ted Baker at about £160, peep toe with some detailing across the front, in a gorgeous ivory satin. To be honest, I wasn’t too fussed about shoes as 1) they couldn’t be seen on the day, 2) they had to be comfy and 3) the height was key to ensure I didn’t tower over Gary.
And what did the groom wear?
Gary (a builder) and his best man (Lee) wore beautiful royal blue suits from Marks and Spencer. They fitted them both great. They had a 3 piece which was then combined with fantastic fitting, quality shirts from T M Lewin, burgundy polka dot detail ties from a site online, pocket squares from Asos, tan Ted Baker brogues, some anchor detailed cufflinks, tan leather belt and a new Daniel Wellington watch for the groom with gorgeous rose gold detail and a tan leather strap. They book looked so handsome, and for men that don’t wear suits in their day to day work, they felt great and scrubbed up pretty damn well!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My sister, Gemma, was spoilt for choice! Being my one and only bridesmaid, I gave her total free reign to choose whatever she wanted. Any colour, any style. I wanted her to enjoy the day just as much as Gary and I. A girl needs to feel special and comfortable, so she chose a gorgeous dress by Dessy in Cornflower Blue. She used some of tie waist material to create a halterneck strap, it looked awesome and we thanks Ann’s Bridal Room in Leighton Buzzard for all their help http://annsbridalroom.com
She teamed it with nude flat Kurt Geiger sandals and gold jewellery from John Lewis. She looked stunning, and she oozed comfort and confidence the whole day! It’s so nice to see your bridal party embracing the day as much as the bride and groom.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Professional all the way!
I’m far too basic with my hair and make up, and with the added pressure of ensuring it’ll last the whole day, there was no way I’d attempt it myself.
My mum, sister and myself had the whole works done professionally… Hair, make up, nails.
Being so far away, both my hair and makeup girls were amazing on whatsapp. I’d fire Pinterest images their way each week, and we’d go back and forth with ideas and making me completely at ease.
I had a couple of trials before the big day, giving us excuses for some weekends away in Cornwall. This helped build a great friendship with the pair.
On the day, they felt more like family rather than suppliers! They made me feel calm, they worked as such as awesome team, and we had a great laugh. It was kinda sad when they left, I wished they’d stayed for the whole day, they were that amazing!!!! If I lived closer, I have no doubt that they’d be my prosecco drinking buddies on a Friday night in St Ives!
They are both incredibly talented and professional.
Hair by Simone – https://m.facebook.com/simoneknyita/
Makeup by Natasha – http://www.natashaflower.co.uk
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Elle @ Inspire Hire did my flowers. She is awesome and as she was styling the rest of the wedding, it made sense that she handle the flowers knowing my colour theme and personal taste.
I love peonies, they’re my favourite flower. Elle informed me that my wedding wasn’t quite peony season, that she’d try to get some good ones but also introduced me to two more beautiful flowers; David Austin roses and ranunculus. I researched into these and was blown away, they are stunning and I’m so pleased Elle suggested these.
On the day, my sister and I had bouquets filled with pinks and oranges of these as well as a few peonies too. I love succulents so Elle popped a few of those in too and the final pieces were just incredible. Not too big or small, stunning scent and colour.
After the big day, I kept a few heads and pressed them dry. They’re now in a memory box 🙂
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Our venue was stunning! It was right on the coast and the decor of the hotel oozes class and has an appreciation for great design. We didn’t need to come along and cover walls, chairs, ceilings etc. We added colour where we could, with the help of Elle. We used painted mason jars and glass bottles for lots of the vases, some hung from the walls on tiny pins in the white washed cladding for the ceremony room. I don’t do bunting or balloons! The restaurant where we had our wedding breakfast is really quirky anyway, so we didn’t touch the walls here but focussed purely on some great table decor including chevron aqua table runners, pink cotton napkins, bright flowers, and pink tall candles.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Getting married 270 miles away, and travelling down with a cocker spaniel, meant that the ability to make lots of stuff was going to be made a huge challenge when packing the car!
Also, I knew I’d never be able to make things as good as a professional could!
I made my invites! They cost me £25 in total. I couldn’t bear to part with hundreds just for invites. If I’m breaking the bank at the very start, I don’t think Gary would’ve married me. You can get carried away with wedding details and before you know it you’ll have spent your budget way before you planned.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
I found Suzi from Cupcake Mama on Pinterest and Google. She did the most amazing ruffling detail as well as ombré colour effects. This was perfect for me! I knew it’d look awesome with my colour theme, and that I’d add a nice topper and real flowers to top it off.
The flavours were incredible. We went for a refreshing lemon sponge teamed with a sweet raspberry filling. It was then surrounded in a silky white chocolate ganache!
After months on a pre-wedding detox, you can imagine how much I ate of this cake after! I had it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, dessert, late night nibble! Hehe.
Everyone commented on how amazing it looked and tasted! We could not have been happier… Or fuller!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Our location was all the entertainment you ever really needed!
The sun was shining, the national surfing competition was taking place, the drinks were flowing, the place was filled with laughter and love! What more could you ask for.
We had 3 fantastic dogs at the wedding too, everyone loves dogs and dogs love beaches so that definately provided some entertainment too! Especially with our little Buddy trying to dig holes rather than smile for the camera, ha!
Ben and his band were incredible, and the whole room was alive with dancing from 6pm to midnight. They played the most awesome upbeat covers, they’re music was infectious and made it impossible to stand still! He doubled up as our DJ for he rest of night, playing some absolute classics and those that our guests had requested as part of their RSVP months ago! A big hit for the whole room was Backstreet Boys – Everybody. The room looked like a scene from an American teen movie, it was hilarious! The sun was setting through the huge glass bifold doors and glass balconies, the way the sun set beamed through the room, lighting up people’s faces as they grinned from ear to ear dancing was just perfect. Myself and Gary walked in to the room, hoping a few had plucked up the courage to jump on to the dance floor… We swang the door open and EVERYONE was on the dance floor! We looked at each other, smiled with a smile that could say a thousand words, and jumped straight in to join our amazing family and friends dancing!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Have the wedding YOU both want, not what other people want.
Those that love you truly will understand. Those that love you both will want you both to be happy, and will respect your wishes.
We can look back now and say WE had the best day, and we had the best day because we kept us as priority, and had the day WE wanted!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Gary and I have been together over 8 years, lived together nearly 5 years… I wasn’t sure if being married would make us feel any different… In some ways it doesn’t, because we were like a married couple anyway, we had the love, respect, trust, appreciation and fun already, but being able to now call him my husband is just awesome! I’m so proud to be his wife. To have something so special and so committed. He’s always been so much more than just a boyfriend or fiancé, and whilst I couldn’t refer to him as my “super duper amazing soul mate” whenever I spoke about him, being able to refer to him as my “husband” now is pretty damn close!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
I bought a few magazines, but felt they were all a bit OTT!
My suppliers were all incredible and all listed throughout the blog