Sophie & Carl’s beautiful, alternative Berrynarbor wedding, with Alexa Poppe Photography

Published by Claire Gould on

We’re starting the week with a beautifully whimsical beach wedding. Gorgeous couple Sophie & Carl walked with their guests down 200 steps to a secret beach for the most amazing photos. Their wedding venue is styled with dried flowers – Sophie carries a stunning dried bouquet – and it’s all just too lovely for words! We adore Sophie’s Grace Loves Lace dress with a slit up the side – perfect for a walk to the beach and a cheeky dip in the sea! Incredible photos by Alexa Poppe Photography, who gets a brilliant review from our happy couple!

The main advice we got on the run up to the day which we would like to share was that the day goes by so fast and to make time to spend alone together. We are so glad we did this, we have some gorgeous memories of sneaking off together for a drink and to admire the sea view.

Wedding photographer’s website

Alexa Poppe:

Wedding photographer review

Alexa is wonderful- she understood the relaxed vibe we wanted for the day and made the most of all the amazing scenery around us. She is great fun to be around and made us feel really at ease. We have memories to treasure forever that she captured wonderfully.

Your best moment or memory

We have so many wonderful memories of the day but the one we both share as a favourite moment is the first time we saw each other. There are so many nerves and so much excitement on the day building up to that moment that it can feel a little overwhelming but as soon as we saw one another everything and every one else just melted away. It was so special to make eye contact and just see the relief and feel the happiness and emotion in us both and we knew in that moment that the whole day would just be perfect and it was! The whole ceremony was something we had felt nervous about and it ended up feeling so special and personalised to us.

Tell us anything you did differently – we love hearing about NEW traditions (or none at all!)

We kept our wedding really small and intimate which we are so pleased about. We got to spend so much more time with the people closest to us. This meant we chose no bridesmaids or a best man because everyone there was really special. We also chose to write our own vows which felt so emotional and personal. So many of our guests commented on how special it was to hear personal vows. We took our whole wedding party to a really amazing beach, called Broadsands. The only way to get there is through some woodland and down 200 steps which the venue was initially surprised we wanted to do. We know our guests and we knew everyone would be up for it. This made our wedding unique and memorable for us all and created such variation for our photos. It is a truly magical place that we associate now with our day and will continue to visit for many years to come.

Venue name + review

Sandy Cove Hotel, Berrynarbor

The venue on the day was brilliant, everything ran smoothly and the setting is second to none. It was exactly as we wanted it to be. However, we didn’t have the best experience on the run up to the wedding as we were passed between so many members of staff which resulted in multiple repeat conversations. We also had several challenges about being vegetarian and were made to feel a burden to the staff.

Tell us a little about your outfits – both of you!

Bride- I adored my dress! I wanted something that still felt bridal but that wasn’t too OTT as we wanted a fairly casual and relaxed day. It had a big split which allowed me to run into the sea and take on all those steps and it had layers of different lace on top of silk. I dreamt of eyelash and chantilly lace and I found it in one dress. I also wore an oversized denim jacket personalised with ‘Mrs Ashton’ and pearls to match the pearls on my dress. My veil was the monet veil by grace loves lace. The Groom- the suit matched the day wonderfully. It was a sandy coloured suit with a waistcoat and trousers that rolled up easily for paddling. We had a really warm day in September and we both felt comfortable and special in our outfits. Guilty pleasure- we both rocked crocs on the day!

Dress or suit shop name + review

Grace loves lace- song gown
Hugo Boss suit

Florist name + review

Pampas by post- dried flowers. Sammy was wonderful- we met her just once to discuss our ideas and for her to show us the variations of dried flowers. I sent her some Pinterest photos and she created everything perfectly based on those. The arch pieces were stunning and so easy to drive from Manchester to Devon and looked amazing! My bridal bouquet was stunning, I had a vision of a dried protea which not many people have and Sammy sourced the perfect one. We couldn’t have been happier and what makes dried flowers so wonderful is we’ve kept so many of them and gifted others to our families.

Cake maker name + review

Bibble Bakes – Gorgeous cakes both visually and to taste! We also had vegan cupcakes to go alongside our main cake and which also went down very well! Our orca cake toppers matched the beautiful shell decorations perfectly- it was so personal and reflected our favourite adventure together to Canada which everyone commented on.

Any crafty projects or homemade styling touches?

All of the place setting cards were designed by myself using an Etsy template, including the illustrations. I really wanted everything to be sea themed as it’s my favourite place to be. My mum made the place setting board to attach them to, as well as the welcome sign which was beautiful. She included shell paintings which made them even more bespoke and special and lots of people had a photo with the sign. For place settings we also decided to be a bit different and print our own in the style of Polaroid photos- we chose our favourite photo of us with that person to display for their seat. This also went down really well as everyone enjoyed looking at each others photos and they were a good conversation starter.

Wedding readings?

My best friend of honour read a vow by Wendy Cope

First dance song? Playlist recommendations?

Paolo Nutini- loving you performed by Sam Dowden who is a brilliant local guitarist and singer in north Devon. We went from Paolo to wheatus- teenage dirtbag to Dr Dre! The great thing about a small guest list was we could choose music we knew all of our guests loved to make everyone feel comfortable and involved!

Hair + makeup name + review

Natalie Nichols for hair who was amazing! She gave me so much advice for extensions to have more volume and thickness in my braids. She also had suggestions for hair accessories which worked perfectly for what I wanted. She was a really calming influence on the day for everyone and my bridal party were also really pleased with their hair. Loved her company and couldn’t have been happier with the end result. Stacey Louise MUA – Stacey gave great advice as the whole wedding party weren’t overly confident on make up and she made everyone feel beautiful. Stacey also gave me advice on the run up the wedding on skin care to make sure my make up application was as perfect as possible. They both arrived on time and got us all ready with time to spare!

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.


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