The Cornish coastline is a beautiful location to be married, and beautiful bride Nazia and husband Martin made the most of it with a perfectly planned, stunning celebration in sunset colours. Their portraits by Polhawn Fort wedding photographer Martin Dabek are wonderful; the story of the day just flows through the pictures and I know you’ll love the rather spectacular ending to today’s blog post!
I actually designed my own wedding dress, I wanted to have a beautiful white wedding dress but also wanted to have a bit of my heritage incorporated into it, so I did this through the embroidery. I used the same Asian dress makers who made my sister’s and my sister in law’s wedding dresses, so I already knew they would do a great job. (Chiffons, 121 Green Street, London.) They did an amazing job in making what I had drawn on paper into reality, each time I went for a fitting and saw more and more of the dress come to life I fell in love with it even more. It was perfect, so unique and exactly what I had imagined.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We had a very romantic image of our wedding in our minds, it was all to take place later on in the day, we had a beautiful venue situated on a cliff-top over looking the sea and wanted to take advantage of the striking sunset over the water. We had imagined lots of low level lighting and candles. Martin’s portfolio featured so many stunning photos taken in the dark with wonderful effects with lighting, giving the romance we were after. This was unique to Martin and exactly what we were looking for. On meeting Martin, he understood the vision we had and shared our same ideas. The more of his photos we saw, we new we were making the right decision in choosing Martin as our photographer.
We loved our wedding photographer, not only were the pictures stunning, he made us feel so relaxed. Neither of us really like having our photo taken but Martin made us feel so at ease and it all came naturally on the day. Martin was able to capture every aspect of the day which allows us to relive it every time we look at the pictures. The shots are natural and fun like the flower girls playing, as well as the more composed picking up on the military theme with the bride, groom, best man and the guard of honour. He was able to create stunning images using the lighting effects in the dark and really picked up on the emotions and atmosphere of the day.
We did a trash the dress shoot the next morning down on the beach and in the sea, Martin was willing to get wet himself to capture the perfect shots and we have the most unique and beautiful set of photos because of this, as well as the most unique memories of the morning after the wedding, this shoot was so much fun!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Because Martin lives in the army barracks, I had the photos for several days but insisted I wait until he came home before we looked at them. We both had smiles the entire time and it really did bring back all the memories. We could feel the emotions in every picture and loved seeing all the moments from the day that happened when we weren’t there. Every picture had everyone smiling, laughing, having fun and reminded us of what an amazing day it was.
Discover more from South West wedding photographer Martin Dabek
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A romantic, traditional military wedding, personal and full of emotion.
Your wedding style or theme:
A military wedding but with a romantic and relaxed style.
We did have a sunset theme and tried to incorporate all the sunset colours, burnt orange, red, yellow, and golds. This was reflected in the flowers, the bridesmaids dresses, and the stationery. We even had a fireworks display and had the same colours running through.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
All through online searches, visiting what felt like hundreds of websites and reading countless reviews.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We created a spreadsheet to keep track of the spending because this is something that can easily spiral out of control. Next to each wedding aspect/supply we wrote down the maximum we could spend to stay within our budget and tried to stick to that, constantly referring back to spreadsheet to make sure we were within our limits.
Also, we were able to sell on some of our supplies like our centre pieces after the wedding. Instead of hiring some things like a stand for the table plan etc, we were able to buy a lot of stuff second hand for a similar price as hiring and then sell them afterwards.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The food! We love food and it’s something really important to us. We decided to spend more money on the catering to try and make sure we had good quality and tasty food. This was something for our guests to enjoy, a good meal will bring a lot of happiness and will be remembered.
We also decided to have an open bar and a live band. We really wanted our guests to have a good time, to enjoy themselves. Everyone had travelled a long way to be with us, so we wanted to make sure the drinks didn’t stop flowing for them and that the music meant they didn’t want to sit down!
We splashed out a bit more too on videographers and decided to go for a slightly more expensive package including a drone. The venue is so stunning we imagined the drone footage would be wonderful, and it definitely went beyond our expectations! The wedding video is absolutely beautiful, full of emotion and captured the day perfectly.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Our stationery was all home made. We had spent night after night drawing templates of envelopes, hours sat at a guillotine cutting, and then folding, sticking and printing. Something that at the time you’re thinking ‘why!!’, but then you look at the beautiful invitations, the table names and place cards, they’re exactly how you wanted them. It’s something you fully appreciate in retrospect once all the hard work is done, definitely a labour of love.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My accessories were a swarovski set, the earrings necklace and bracelet, all borrowed from my mum. It was a jewellery set myself, my sister and two brothers had given her as a birthday gift many years before, and my sister had worn the necklace at her wedding 6 years earlier. I loved wearing something on my wedding day that both my mum and sister had worn before.
I had a sunflower theme running through the flowers on the day. My husband is in the military and we were living a little over a 100 miles apart when we first met and started dating. Each time I visited him in the barracks I would take a sunflower for him. I wanted to have sunflowers on me on the day, so I wore clips in my hair with sunflowers on them.
My husband actually bought me my wedding shoes. With the white wedding dress I wanted a pop of colour, so went for royal blue, sparkly louboutins. The red soles gave the exact splash of colour I was after. I’m definitely a shoe-aholic and these were perfect!
And what did the groom wear?
Martin wore his military No: 1 dress uniform, with his medals polished to perfection. As a specialist army diver, he also had his diver’s badge on his uniform as well as his rank.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Floor length, burnt orange gowns. My wedding dress had a one shoulder design, so I wanted this also reflected in the bridesmaids, so their gowns also had a one shoulder element.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired a professional to do hair and make up, not just for myself but also the bridesmaids.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The wedding flowers were done by a local florist – Karen Egan at Floral Creations, Cornwall. www.floral-creations-cornwall.co.uk
Our sunset theme was incorporated with the colours, the flowers were all oranges, yellows, reds and golds. This was in the bridal bouquet which was a shower design, and also in the flowers on the centre pieces, the wedding arch and even some flowers placed on the cake.
I also wanted to have sunflowers as part of my wedding, so the bridesmaids had sunflower bouquets.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue itself is so stunning it really didn’t need much decorating.
Dining was outside in a clear marquee to make the most of the spectacular views. We set up wooden pergolas inside the marquee which were wrapped in flowers and draped with hundreds of fairy lights, and had dangling glass spheres with tealights inside. We were going for a romantic candle lit style, so we also had glass jars with tealights inside dotted around the grounds.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We tried to DIY as much of the wedding as possible, this meant the stationery (invitations, table names, place cards and the table plan), a tree surgeon friend made our centre pieces out of small cut up logs which our florist then decorated and instead of a guest book we had put together a huge frame with little mounts for polaroid pictures. I enjoyed adding all the personal touches to the wedding.
My favourite crafty bit though was making our cake topper. my husband is a tank commander in the army, so I wanted a miniature replica of his tank with the bride in the commanders seat and the groom in the drivers seat. I carved the topper out of wax, moulded it in silicone and then cast it in plaster before painting it. This is the bit I had the most fun making. I was able to put a lot of detail into this, making the mini bride and groom look like us, down to the same design of the dress and he sunflowers in the bride’s hair, and put a licence plate on the back of the tank saying just married!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a 3 tiered wedding cake with a different flavour in each tier. I’m a complete chocaholic so the biggest bottom tier had to be chocolate! the middle tier was lemon drizzle and the top tier was rose and pistachio.
My love for chocolate meant that I always imagined my wedding cake to be covered in chocolate, it’s unusual for a wedding cake but I love the look. This was something I looked for specifically when looking for our cake maker, and amazingly we found Nicky who is also a chocolatier. Nicky did this beautifully with a milk chocolate rough wrap around the tiers and then a cascade of orange, yellow and gold flowers swirling down to the bottom.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a live band called Already Legends – a 4 piece pop/rock band who were phenomenal. They were full of energy and had everyone up and dancing the entire time! The atmosphere from live music is always electric, you cannot stay sitting down!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
The wedding day can be really stressful and tends to fly by in a blur, before our wedding we were given words of wisdom by everyone who had done it before to relax and enjoy the day. This was really hard, particularly if like me you’re a perfectionist, because although you have delegated as much as possible, you still feel responsible for everything and you notice all the little things that don’t quite go to plan – but try to remember that although you may notice it, no one else will.
I think a really important thing is to spend as much time with your partner as possible on the day, it’s easy to get swept up in the day, talking to guests, other responsibilities can separate you and before you know it, hours have passed. Try and find time to be together, take a quiet moment to enjoy and take stock of the day you’ve worked so hard for.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being married feels like we are connected on another level, we now share the same surname and feel more like a family. I love knowing that we have made a commitment in front of all our loved ones that this is the person we want to spend our life with, go on many adventures and will grow old with.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Photographer – https://martindabek.com
Videographers – http://www.manwithweddingcamera.co.uk
Flowers – www.floral-creations-cornwall.co.uk
Catering – https://www.littlegemcatering.co.uk
Cake – https://nickygrant.com
Entertainment – Already Legends, https://www.alreadylegends.com
Bar – https://www.cocktailsandbarevents.com
Marquee – http://www.hinemarquees.co.uk