This afternoon’s images are courtesy of WWW faves We Are The Clarkes, Anna and Simon’s images always give me goosebumps and this set of photographs are no exception.
WWW followers Owen and Carla (now owners of tipi and sailcloth tent rental company Coastal Tents Ltd) were married on a glorious summers day in Dorset. They hired Purbeck Valley Farm to host their tipi and camping wedding extravaganza. But first they tied the knot beside the sea at the The Grand Hotel in Swanage in an outdoor ceremony. It looked utterly idyllic and those portraits on the beach really blew me away.
Carla’s short and sweet gown by Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett looked so perfect teamed with sparkly heels, while Owen was suited and booted in Next attire. With no formal bridal party everyone got to choose their own outfits and all still contributed to the fantastic DIY efforts. I am loving the colourful blooms, bunting table plan and music inspired details. So gorgeous.
Many thanks to the fantastic We Are The Clarkes for sharing these wonderful shots.
THE PROPOSAL | It was Christmas Day and Owen and I were hosting everyone at our house. Everyone had opened their presents, when suddenly Owen asked me to go upstairs where he presented me with my stocking and in it was the ring! We ran down stairs and shared the news. Probably the best Christmas on record!
THE VISION | We wanted to make sure everyone had a great time. The most important things were the music, food and drinks!! The décor was relaxed but colourful. Lots of our friends camped with us next to the Tipis so we made a little holiday out of it. We were very lucky that so many of them came the Thursday before and helped us set up.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We did it in 7 months and worked together (this is when we realised we could run a business together and it was the beginning of Coastal Tents). Owen did as much of the planning as I did; in fact he probably did a bit more. We organised almost everything ourselves from the power and sound equipment to alcohol, canapés and cheese. Basically it involved lots of lists, friends and bottles of wine!
THE VENUE | We were looking for a DIY venue so we could have the tipis with no restrictions on suppliers and not too many rules. We found Purbeck Valley Farm, which was a 10 min drive from Swanage. Linda and her family were amazing – they let us stay in the B&B in the run up to the wedding, they mowed path ways into the lawn, built us a huge fire, made the bridal party delicious bacon and egg sandwiches and even drove a friend who was late to the ceremony. They didn’t have a wedding licence at the time so we got married in the garden of the Grand Hotel over looking Swanage Bay and bussed everyone back to the farm for the party.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | It was a 50s tea style dress by Lyn Ashworth, I wore my grandma’s silver bracelet, some drop pearl earrings from my mum, a pearl hair clip and stilettos studded with crystals from Carvella.
FINDING THE DRESS | I don’t love shopping so I only went to three shops. I was looking for a short dress so I could enjoy the day without being uncomfortable. The third shop was called The Dress in Teddington and they had the perfect dress. Jo and Gillian were brilliant.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Owen wore a three-piece navy blue suit from Next and tan boots from Kurt Geiger.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We only had one reading called A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, which my sister and I adapted to describe myself and Owen. My little brother Alex (aged 8) and nephew Lincoln (aged 6) read it out which was definitely a crowd pleaser! Music was a huge part of the day, Owen was a sound engineer for 8 years and our very first conversation was about the Libertines. We planned the music for every part of the day and Owen got us the most amazing band. He had worked with them a few times and so when he asked them to do our wedding they said yes straight away. The lead singer, Roger Wright, got together an amazing group of session musicians and it was like being at a gig! They played for over 4 hours over the evening.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I didn’t have official bridesmaids because we didn’t want it to be a traditional wedding but my best friends were all a massive part of the day, including making bunting and flower arranging (thank you Alex and Mandy), making canapés and doing speeches to doing my hair and make-up (thank you Leila and Louise) plus they were all far happier choosing their own dresses.
THE FLOWERS | My bouquet was made by a friend of a friend, who runs Divine Flower Company in Teddington. My lovely friend Chris kindly collected them the day before and transported them in a cool box from London to Swanage. The flowers in the tipis were bought by Owen’s mum from a local flower shop in Melksham, but when they arrived we decided we needed more roses. So two of my friends spent an afternoon driving around the supermarkets in Poole to buy some more. We had white gypsophila, yellow, pink and coral roses along with some green Kermit chrysanthemums. Our lovely friends and family arranged them into a collection of glass jars for the tables.
THE CAKE | This was made by my very talented friend Izzy Pink, who runs her own cake company called Izzy Pink Cake Artistry. At first we played around with traditional looking cakes and then we decided to let Izzy work her magic. I gave her swatches of material that we were making the bunting with and she came up with the design and the first time I saw it was when it arrived on the Saturday morning. It was exquisite.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose Anna Clarke Photography because we loved her work. We searched the internet for a long time and when we came across her website and then spoke to her we knew she was the one. We did an engagement shoot with her and Simon in Bushy Park. I was really nervous, I hate having my photo taken but they made us laugh and got some lovely shots so on the day we were really relaxed and enjoyed getting our photos taken. We didn’t do a video but in hindsight it would have been nice to have one.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We made our own bunting from some gorgeous material that was super summery and colourful and then matched the flower colours to it. We bought paper napkins and made our own menus and then personalised them with a stamp of a cassette with our name and date of the wedding on it. We made CDs with our favourite songs of the day on it that looked like vinyl as wedding favours for everybody.
THE HONEYMOON | We were spoilt and had two. The first one was supposed to be a low key camping trip in a camper van but sadly it broke down (several times) before we even set off so we returned it and hotel hopped along the Devon and Cornwall Coast. We found some amazing places and when they found out the story and that we were on our honeymoon we got extra special treatment! Our second honeymoon was in Mauritius. Neither of us have ever been anywhere like it before. We stayed in a posh hotel but hired a car and did day trips around the island. It was amazing.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the aisle and seeing Owen. The ceremony in general, it was overlooking the sea, the sun was shining and there was a lot of laughing! The reading by Alex and Lincoln. The band, they really made the day extra special and having so many of our family members from Canada and the US.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It is really nice to get your friends and family involved so they feel they are part of the day but make sure you delegate carefully. Do not get stressed, we were determined to enjoy planning our wedding since we are only going to do it once. Try not to let one person do it all and I am pleased to say that we have a lot of grooms ringing up and booking our tipis and tents for their weddings.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Cake | Izzy Pink Cake Artistry
Band | The Roger Wright Band
Bouquet | Divine Flowers
Thanks so much to Owen and Carla for sharing their amazing wedding story with us xo Lou