Relaxed Seaside St Ives Wedding

Relaxed Seaside St Ives Wedding

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side. It feels like an age since our own summer holidays and days spent at the beach already. So it’s really lovely to be paying a visit this afternoon courtesy of Debbie and Steven who were married on the 16th April 2016 in St Ives. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Cornwall, but what a quaint and pretty spot they chose for their wedding. The sweet little lanes made for picture perfect portraits by WWW faves and Supplier Love members We Are The Clarkes not to mention the sunset shots on the cliffs, wow.

Debbie and Steven chose St Ives due to there personal connections with the seaside spot and wanted a relaxed and small celebration. They kept everything super simple with sweet hessian details complete with a sand and shells pastel cake. Debbie chose the most elegant gown, a satin number by David Fielden, which she teamed with Jimmy Choo heels gifted to her by Steven. Didn’t she look sensational?

Thanks goes to the brilliant We Are The Clarkes for providing these amazing photographs.


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THE PROPOSAL | Unbeknown to me Steve had planned the proposal for months, he had the engagement ring specially made with a gorgeous emerald cut diamond, on a platinum band. He kept it hidden in a suit in our wardrobe for 3 months. We had a trip booked to the Maldives and he had planned to propose to me then. I had no idea that he was going to ask me to marry him on this holiday. It was funny because when we arrived in the Maldives it had been heavily raining, to add to this they had lost our bags in Dubai. Steve was really really unhappy about this (little did I know that my engagement ring was in the bag). Eventually they told us that they would bring the bags to our island when they arrived, so we took a speed boat to our island, in the rain, a bit down in the dumps.

The rain lasted only a day and the sun shone from then on. Amazingly our bags arrived the following day so things were looking up! Unfortunately, Steve then felt a little poorly. He was really agitated by this and I tried to make him feel better by reminding him it was hot now, they’d found our bags and he’d feel better very soon. A few days later he was better and we were fully relaxed having an amazing time. One evening we went for a stroll around the island, there were literally thousands of stars in the sky, it was so beautiful. I turned to Steve and said, ‘this is amazing, it would be the perfect place for a proposal!’, Steve smiled and said, ‘It’s funny you should say that…’ he got down on one knee and proposed under the stars! It was amazing, and I realised why he had been so edgy for the past 4 days, he’d wanted everything to be perfect and nothing had gone smoothly! We popped open the champagne and Steve finally relaxed J

THE VISION | Steve and I met in The Sloop Inn in St Ives, Cornwall. I had lived there and Steve’s family had a holiday home in the town so we had a strong emotional connection to St Ives and knew we wanted to get married there.

We wanted a really relaxed small wedding with our closest family and friends there. The most important thing to us was for everyone to be relaxed and nothing to be forced. We wanted to make a weekend of it so I travelled down on the Thursday before the wedding with my family and two of my bridesmaids, Steve had a meal out with his groomsmen and travelled down with them the next day. We arranged for all the guests to meet in The Sloop, where we had first met, on the Friday. We had a great night all together, I left around 10pm with my bridesmaids and Steve stayed with his brother (his best man).

We decided not to have a table plan, and no top table, so that we could all stand or sit wherever we wanted at the venue. We wanted to have the speeches first, standing all together, with the sea as our backdrop.

We wanted to highlight the natural beauty of St Ives so that our guests could fall in love with the place like we had. Therefore, we wanted the décor to be simple and natural and we wanted to incorporate the seaside in to our wedding.

We wanted our ceremony in the beautiful St Ia church in the town centre. The second we walked in to the church we knew it was the right place for us. It is so quaint and pretty and had a really special atmosphere inside.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Steve had sorted the financial aspect of the day and created a spread sheet to keep us on budget! When we knew what we were aiming for I got to planning right away!

The planning was so much fun! I remember I bought wedding magazines as soon as we got home from the Maldives! We planned to get married 18 months from the proposal, so had a good amount of time to get things sorted. I went to the wedding fair with my mom and bridesmaids, which was a great way to get ideas. I made a scrap book of all the colours, dress styles, hair styles and favours that I liked.

We visited St Ives a few times in the 18 months. The first thing we booked was the venue and then met with the vicar and booked the church. We walked around St Ives a lot, planning how the day would go. Steve’s sister Debbie (one of my bridesmaids) had also married in St Ives and recommended a few different things for us, such as the florist and where to get the wedding cake.

BUDGET | Our budget was £13,000 as we wanted to do a months’ travelling in America for our honeymoon, so we needed to save for that too! We stayed exactly to our budget and managed this by making a lot of the decorations for our venue ourselves. I made the favours and table décor and my Dad and his friend Marc designed and printed all of our wedding invitations, order of service and other little signs we wanted around the venue.

THE VENUE | The venue we fell in love with was the Porthgwidden Beach Café. Dianne Smith, the venue’s owner and wedding co-ordinator was phenomenal! Di gave us great ideas and knew how to get the best out of her venue. The food we chose was a gourmet buffet with canapés and was absolutely amazing! We were blown away! We had Cornish pasties in the evening, which went down a treat. Di and her team sorted absolutely everything for us, from setting up the entire décor to getting everyone together for the first dance to keeping us partying ‘till the wee hours. The team at the Porthgwidden took the stress out of the whole thing and we owe our perfect day to them!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a satin gown from Noble and Wright Atelier. It was by David Fielden and was beautiful. Hannah Noble of Noble and Wright Atelier was amazing! She knew exactly what would work for me colour wise and discussed all the small adjustments we could do to make the dress unique to me. With Hannah’s help I opted for the dress to be in stone, with the lace a contrasting colour. I had a slight arch in the hem so that my shoes could be seen through the lace, it really was perfect for me!

I wanted a boho style up do for my hair with small gypsophila springs clipped in. I met Simone of Simone Knyita Bridal Hair in St Ives for a trial. Simone was wonderful and knew exactly what I wanted. On the day Simone was amazing and my hair looked beautiful.

I wanted to keep my make up quite natural. My make up was done by Verity of Makeup by Verity. I was so impressed with how professional Verity was, she did my make up perfectly and I felt a million dollars by the time she’d finished with me!

My shoes were a gift from Steve. They were Marion, by Jimmy Choo and I am completely in love with them! They were by chance an exact match to the colour of the lace around my hem and perfectly complemented my dress.

My something old was a diamond ring of Steve’s mom’s, which Steve’s dad had handed down to me with his blessing. I wore a single pearl and diamond necklace (a birthday gift from Steve) as my something new and my borrowed item was my nan’s antique pearl and diamond earrings. For something blue I wore a tiny horse shoe with blue gems, that was given to me by a friend, clipped to my shoe.

FINDING THE DRESS | I had actually seen the dress on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride. The bride had chosen it as her ideal gown and I thought it was beautiful then. I never dreamt I would actually find it and one day be wearing it! I came across the dress at the wedding fair. I’d been looking all day and was giving up hope when my mom actually pulled it out! I couldn’t believe it was actually that dress and so tried it on. Hannah was there that day and we got on straight away, she helped me into the dress. When I came out with it on it felt like everybody stopped to look at me, I knew it was the one as soon as I put it on!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Steve had a grey slim fit suit with a silver waist coat and mint green tie and pocket square. His groomsmen and our dads had the same grey suits with grey waist coasts and mint green ties/pocket squares. These were hired from Debenhams and we found they were great value for money and a really good service.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | The reading was a chapter from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. This was Steve’s idea, we loved the words and found they really encapsulated how we both felt for each other.

The music in the church was great fun to pick. Our vicar, Reverend Andrew Gough was wonderful and advised we could do whatever we pleased. We opted to have the organist Peter Luing play, along with St Ives Parish Choir singing for us. Peter was fantastic and gave us lots of advice. I opted to walk down the aisle to the theme from symphony No. 3 by Saint-Saens. Steve is a huge rugby fan so the hymns we chose were; I vow to thee my country and Jerusalem. The choir sang Ave Maria by Schubert while we signed the register and we exited as Mr and Mrs Phillips to Hallelujah Chorus by Handel. We thought this would be perfect as it sounded so grand and it had some comedic value as none of Steve’s family had ever expected him to get married!

In the evening we had a local singer and guitarist called Bob Love play for us. He is a legend in St Ives and Steve and I have often seen him perform in The Sloop, so it was great to have him sing for us. For the party my good friend Nadine created an epic five hour long playlist for us, which we played through our Ipod and an amp. Our neighbour had leant us some disco lights which we also had set up by Di and her team.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my oldest and best friend Lisa Waldron, my wonderful friend Kirsty Perratt, who I’d met a veterinary nurse college 10 years earlier, Steve’s sister and my amazing sister-in-law to be Debbie Cook and my great friend and bridesman Miles Franklin. I also had my niece Scarlett and my niece to be Molly as flower girls. We decided on a mint green, long, Grecian style dress from David’s Bridal for the ladies. Miles wore stone coloured chinos from Next, a white shirt and a mint blazer from ASOS. The flower girls wore matching white dresses from Debenhams with a mint sash. They all looked gorgeous!

Simone did my mom’s, nan’s and bridesmaid’s hair in whatever style they wanted as I wanted them all to feel comfortable and beautiful. Simone also did my flower girls hair and they looked so cute.

Verity also did my bridesmaids make up and my mom’s. They all opted for the natural look, which Verity did perfectly!

THE FLOWERS | We wanted a natural, Cornish feel to the flowers so Lizi, of Wheal Sara Flowers, advised us on what could work well. I had pink gypsophila, pale pink germini and mixed mini succulents in my bouquet. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of this without the succulents and my flower girl had mini bouquets of gypsophila. The men’s button holes were mixed succulent heads with jute ribbon stems and my page boy had a mini version of this. My mom and nan had similar button holes with a sprig of gypsophila included. We had pew ends of the germini and gypsophila and the same in jam jars and small square vases for the beach café.

THE CAKE | This was created by Cakes by Design and was both fantastic and delicious! We wanted a fun cake so had a beach theme, two tier vanilla sponge cake made. The filling was vanilla butter cream and strawberry jam, Steve’s favourite!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER | Our photographers were Anna Clarke and Simon Clarke of We Are The Clarkes Photography. I have been friends with both Anna and Simon for years and was lucky enough to have them with me on my wedding day as both my guests and photographers. Anna and Simon were incredible! They just understood us so well and knew exactly what we wanted from our pictures. We really wanted to capture our family and friends as naturally as possible, which they did perfectly. They were so easy going and I have to say experts at their profession. They scouted the area before the wedding and knew exactly where to guide us to on the day. Their images were breath taking and we really cannot thank them enough!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The venue was situated on the beach so we wanted to make sure we didn’t deter from the beauty of where we were. I bought fairy lights from Amazon, which Di and the team strong outside on the decking. I bought mint, hessian and pink bunting from Etsy, which Di had pinned on the ceiling of the indoor part of the café. For the table decorations I bought a large roll of hessian which the Porthgwidden team cut up and lay on the tables as runners. I had saved around 80 different types of glass jars, which I filled with sand from St Ives and shells that I had bought off the internet. I then put tea lights in these and had them placed on the tables with seashells scattered on the table runners. Di and the team, put the sand and seashell jars all around the venue, which looked beautiful.

The favours I made were little tin buckets from Etsy, which I filled with white chocolate fish and chips and milk chocolate sardines from Amazon. The little buckets came with a little note you could personalise. I also had a basket of flip flops for everyone from Zohula, which were particularly well received by the ladies in the evening.

We had a wooden open top frame as a guest book from The Wedding Tree that had little wooden hearts for people to write a message on and post into the frame. This is on our wall at home and makes us smile every time we walk past!

I also made little goodie bags for the children, which had sweets, little toys and bubbles in to keep them entertained.

We had bought a wooden trunk type box from St Ives previously, that we used as a post box for our gifts and cards. We now use this box to keep things we’ve collected from our trips in.

THE HONEYMOON | To us, the honeymoon was one of the most important aspects of the start of our marriage. We were able to travel for a month and so decided to visit America. We travelled to Washington DC then flew to San Francisco. We then drove the coast to Santa Barbara then went on to LA. From here we drove to Las Vegas then caught a flight to New Orleans. After this we flew to Miami then flew on to St Lucia in the Caribbean. It was the most amazing trip we’ve ever had and we thank all our family and friends who helped us make it possible!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | For Steve, the morning of the wedding. Steve, his groomsmen and friends went to the beach, went body boarding and had a game of rugby! They all thought it was brilliant and set them up for the rest of the day.

For me one of the best moments was getting ready in the morning with my mom and bridesmaids and getting to the church with my dad. We had hired a Beauford car with a chauffeur from Roaring 30s Automobiles, who drove us around the town in the beautiful sun before arriving at the church. It was so special to have that time alone with my dad before he gave me away at the altar.

Another wonderful moment was coming out of the church newly married, seeing all our family and friends so happy, then being chauffeured to our venue. The Beaufford drove us all around the town with some champagne. All of the people in the town were cheering and waving at us and it gave Steve and I a bit of time to be alone together, which is the part we both remember the most about!

One last thing, my maid of honour Lisa, surprised us by playing and singing a song for us on the guitar. It was such a special moment, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the building!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Our biggest piece of advice would be to do what you want to do and not what others expect you to do! It really is your day and that is what is important. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy every single second of it!


Photography |  We Are The Clarkes *WWW wedding directory member*

Church |  St Ia church, St Ives

Venue | Porthgwidden Beach Café

Flowers | Wheal Sara Flowers

Cake | Cakes by Design

Hair | Simone Knyita Bridal Hair [email protected]

Make up | Makeup by Verity

Music | Bob Love

Wedding dress | David Fielden at Noble and Wright Atelier

Bridesmaid dresses |  David’s Bridal

Suits and flower girl dresses | Debenhams

Transport | Roaring 30s Automobiles

Various accessories for décor | Amazon and Etsy

Flip flops | Zohula

Wooden frame guest book | The Wedding Tree


What a cracking day.

Thanks so much to Debbie and Steven for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us xo Lou


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