A Fuss Free Blue Seaside Wedding

seaside blue diy wedding

Beverley and Chris held their unfussy yet super stylish wedding at the seaside location of The Lobster Shack, Whitstable. They created a day which was totally personal to them, with accessories passed down from relatives, tables named after Chris’ trainer collection and their favourite foods.

They created much of the amazing wedding decor themselves, pom poms, the stunning brooch adorned bouquet made by a friend, bunting, an incredibly scrummy sounding cake made by Beverley’s mum and personalised shells as place names.

Beverley wore a tea length dress and had 3 swoon worthy pairs of shoes, while Chris was kitted out in dapper Vivienne Westwood. They looked so gorgeous.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Paul Fuller Kent Photography for sharing his photography with us today, here is what he had to say about the day;

“Beverley and Chris have a natural style which made me really excited about this wedding from the moment we first met and I think that style definitely shone through on their wedding day. The Lobster Shack is a great venue and we were lucky enough to get a lovely calm day which meant we could get out on to Whitstable beach for some portraits. The result was one of my favourite shots of the year where the guys are looking out across the sea (that shot is going on my business cards as we speak!). I knew Beverley in particular was nervous about having her picture taken, the fact is I think most of us feel the same way and 99% of the couples I work with say the exact the same thing. It takes courage to stand in front of the lens and Beverley and Chris were both really cool and fun and made my job really pretty easy. So big thanks from me and congratulations again guys!”



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Names…. Beverley and Chris

Wedding Date…. October 20/2012

The Proposal…. We were at the end of a week in the Alps in France, Chris had just finished an endurance mountain bike race called the Megavalanche. The trip was a 40th birthday present and back at our hotel, after two and a half hours of riding down glaciers and rocky slopes, still in his bike gear and all sweaty and muddy, he gave me a small tin with a bracelet in it as a thank you present. He then gave me an identical tin but in that was a gummy ring wrapped in tissue paper. We’d been together 10 years and I had no idea the proposal was coming but he’d asked my dad and had been planning the whole thing for months.

The Vision for the day…. We had no grand plan. We just wanted an unfussy day we could enjoy with our family and friends. We decided pretty much straight away we wanted it to be at the seaside and as close to the sea as we could manage. We wanted somewhere with a bit of character and really wanted to stay away from hotels, golf courses and manor houses.

The Planning process…. The planning was all a bit out of my comfort zone, I honestly had never really thought about what I’d want my wedding to look like. I researched a few blogs and bought a couple of magazines but the whole “wedding industry” made me want to head for the hills. Once we’d found the venue it all kind of fell into place and by default became a bit seaside themed. We like blue, it matches the sea, sometimes, so we picked all and every shade of blue as the colour scheme. Our invites were made using a postcard we found online of the venue at sunset and other seasidey touches soon followed. The whole thing was put together in about 10 months and although it all got a bit hectic at the end that was probably due to us being disorganised more than the need for more time.

Budget…. We didn’t set a budget as such, just tried to do a lot of things ourselves and use a bit of imagination.

The Venue… The Lobster Shack (East Quay Shellfish), Whitstable. Chris was born in Whitstable and we’ve always enjoyed visiting and when I found the Lobster Shack online it looked perfect for us. It had a great look to it, and you couldn’t get closer to the sea. We visited in January when the beach was covered in snow but knew we had a winner. They have a great, relaxed attitude, their fish and chips are amazing and the chef was happy to accommodate Chris’s request of gypsy tart for dessert. The fact that the DJ could set up on the fish tank was also a big tick in their favour.

The Dress + Accessories….. I went for a tulle over satin tea-length Alfred Angelo dress. It had a satin bow at the waist which I just didn’t like so that was replaced with a sparkly pearl and bead belt.  I’d said from the start I wanted a dress with sleeves but of course the one I picked was strapless, so the dress shop (Belles of Woking) made me the beautiful lace bolero. My headband was made of natural pearls and crystals, my veil was my something borrowed. I wasn’t sure if I wanted one so my friend Michelle offered me hers, it turned out to be a pretty good match.

I had three pairs of shoes in the end… a blue pom pom pair of Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes for dancing, a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks which were so painful they were my sitting down shoes (thankfully they were a massive bargain) and a pair of nude Nine West kitten heels with sparkly bows. And a pair of wellies in case it rained…. My necklace and 1920s cocktail watch had both been gifts from my Nan. I had two bracelets, one was borrowed from my other grandmother and had been a gift to her from my grandfather, and the other had been a Christmas gift from Chris. The bag I used had belonged to my great grandmother. My earrings were from a friend who owns an antique shop in Weybridge. He let me rifle through his costume jewellery collection in the search for broaches for my bouquet and there they were. The pearl-coloured enamel flowers matched my headband and belt.

I also have to mention the wonderful Shelley of Pavone Jewellery in Folkestone. My engagement ring is an irregular shape and I couldn’t find anything I liked to go with it. I’d spoken to a few jewellers and tried on a ready-made ring, but I just didn’t like them. I’d pretty much decided to go for a ring I could wear on my middle finger instead when we popped into Pavone. Shelly was fantastic, she knew exactly what I wanted and in just three weeks created a beautiful ring that compliments my engagement ring perfectly.

Finding the dress…. Stressful. Six shops, at least eight dresses per shop, I felt lost in a sea of ivory froth. I wanted something different but I didn’t really know what. I was pleased with my choice in the end. I was able to tweak it and customise it and it was just right for the day and just right for me.

Groom’s attire… I think as much effort, if not more, went into the groom’s outfit as the brides. Chris picked a blue cotton Vivienne Westwood suit with navy blue waistcoat from Holland Esquire. His shoes were brown brogue toe-strap boots by Casely-Hayford for John Moore. Chris’s tie was a red gingham Vivienne Westwood design which unbuttoned at the back so it could also be worn as a cravat The pocket watch he wore belonged to my great-great grandfather. It was kept with a gardening diary dated 1912 and the silver match box on the end of the chain still has matches in it. His skull and crossbones cameo had been bought from the Whitstable arts market and he had matching cufflinks which were bought from our friend’s antique shop. The red paisley silk pocket square was found in an antiques/vintage shop in Folkestone.

The Readings + Music…. My friend Julia read the poem Wedding Vows by Dr Seuss. She did an amazing job as the scenery fell down around her. I walked down the aisle to a piano version of the love theme from the Christopher Reeve Superman film (the bit where superman takes Lois Lane flying). Our first dance was to the Fun Lovin’ Criminals version of We Have all the Time in the World.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. We had three bridesmaids, my friends Becci and Nathalie and my cousin Lauren. In the end we decided to pick a colour (navy blue) and let them pick their own dresses. They all went for something completely different but it all worked well together and they looked beautiful. Lauren’s chiffon dress was from Monsoon, Nathalie’s lace sleeve dress was from Phase Eight and Becci had her dress made at Ella Fashion Boutique in Folkestone.

The Flowers… My bouquet was a mixture of artificial white roses, cornflowers, irises, broaches, pearls and shells. Some of the broaches I collected from antique fairs, shops and market stalls, others belonged to family members or were donated by friends. There were some in there that belonged to my grandmothers and great grandmothers and one that Chris had bought me the day we visited the Lobster Shack for the first time. My talented friend Michelle put it all together for me. The bridesmaids had simple bouquets of cream avalanche roses. I’d never heard of them before but the florist suggested them and the link to the Megavalanche was too much to resist.

It’s probably best to say the table flowers were “sourced from a local supplier” and arranged by a family friend.  But, to be honest, they were three bouquets bought in a panic from Budgens on the morning of the wedding and a few sprays of gypsophilia and some pink blooms from the only florist open that early. I had never planned to have arrangements as such, I’d collected jam jars and decorated them with twine and light blue ribbon with the plan of picking up some white flowers from a florist the day before, but, having to get everything from Surrey to Kent for the wedding, time got away from us. Friend and witness Jane did a fantastic job with them though and through sheer luck the pink and white flowers matched the pink and white striped bags of the favours. The buttonholes and the heart arrangement and flower basket used to decorate the room where the ceremony was held were made using the same flowers as my bouquet and were made by a friend of my mum.

The Cake… was made by my mum. She makes great cakes and that was the easiest decision of the whole thing. It was Victoria sponge with buttercream and jam filling topped with royal icing, jelly tots, strawberry chocolate, orange chocolate and chocolate chocolate buttons.

Your Photographer…. Paul Fuller of Paul Fuller Kent Photography. Photography was quite important to me, I love photos, love taking photos, but I hate having my picture taken and I hate pictures of myself. I was actually dreading that part of the day, but we loved Paul’s style. Paul said we’d barely know he was there and he was right. He was like a ninja with a camera, blended right in. Even the post-ceremony bride and groom shoot wasn’t too painful. And the results are fantastic, I love them. They really capture the day and I don’t even hate the ones of me.

The Details + Decor…. We didn’t think the venue needed a great deal of decoration as it had such lovely details already so we just went for a bit of bunting and some pompoms, streamers and fairy lights to decorate the walls, stairs and ceiling. The tables had blue cloths decorated with beach huts and blue buckets filled with pink and white striped bags of seaside-themed sweets. The place cards where made with oyster shells we collected from the beach outside the venue. Chris has a collection of more than 150 pairs of trainers so that became the table theme. He picked his favourites and I photographed them on Folkestone beach. On the top table we had a black glass skull and crossbones decanter with matching glasses for our wine (to go with the groom’s accessories), bride and groom rubber ducks, which were a hen do gift from my bridesmaid Becci, and, from god knows where, my Nan had found bride and groom trolls. They were a surprise. Special mention must go to my mum for tracking down the blue and white table confetti.

The Honeymoon…. The Sunday after the wedding we stayed in Rye, it seemed an obvious choice as the new Mr & Mrs Rye. We then headed to London for a couple of days for a visit to the V&A’s Hollywood exhibition and a night of Hip Hop Karaoke. For our actual honeymoon we fly to San Francisco on December 27 for four days, including a trip to Candlestick Park to see the 49ers, and then on New Year’s Eve we head to Honolulu. We should just make it to Waikiki beach in time for the fireworks.

Memorable moments… Where to start! The army of helpers who came to venue in the morning to put the tables together and put up the decorations, Chris pulling faces at me during the ceremony to stop me losing it, hearing the  corks start to pop as we signed the register, my wedding gift from Chris of a pair of Adidas trainers personalised with the wedding date, the dancing, getting just the hint of a sunset, the best man Craig’s kilt/tablecloth exposure worries, my mum knocking back a Jaeger bomb, all of it…We both had such a fun day.

Wedding planning certainly didn’t come naturally to either of us. We’re not good with plans. I think I called the whole thing “a massive faff”, or worse, more than once and I found the last few weeks extremely stressful. But it was more than worth the stress, I didn’t stop smiling all day. The fact that we managed to pull off such an amazing, relatively hitch-free day came as a bit of a shock. But I think it’s testament to the help and support we had from family and friends and it was lovely to be able to include as many people as we could in different parts of the day. Huge thanks to everyone for making it such a special and memorable day.

Advice for other couples… Don’t panic. It’ll all be fine…

Credit where credit is due…

Pavone Jewellery, 2 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone, 01303 251230 [email protected]


Wow wee, i adore this laid back wedding, so beautiful! And brilliant words of advice there. Thanks so much to Beverley and Chris for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou

12 thoughts on “A Fuss Free Blue Seaside Wedding

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since the big day and I still haven’t left a message! For ages I’ve been meaning to says thanks Lou for the wonderful feature. I don’t think anything I’ve ever done has been described as ‘super stylish’ before :)

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