A Yellow Wedding Dress for a Budget Seaside Wedding

Olly and Grace are so laid back, and just so darn cool. Grace wears the most beautiful brightly coloured dress for her day, proof you don’t need to wear white to be a beautiful bride.

I love the fact these two only spend £2000 on their wedding, you don’t need to spend huge sums of money to have the perfect, pretty and fun wedding.

Now i’m dreaming of prancing around on beaches, barefoot…. le sigh….

Thanks so much to the fantastic Ben Wyeth Photography for sharing his work today, here is what he had to say about the day;

“Olly was a childhood friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for years. When he rang up out of the blue to ask if I’d be interested in photographing his wedding it was a no-brainer. When he said it was all taking place on the beach in Cornwall and I wouldn’t have to wear a suit I was even more excited. I have to say of all the weddings I photographed or attended there was something special about Olly and Grace’s wedding day. The vows in particular were amazing and the emotion and love between the two of them was so clearly visible for all to see. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place and the rest of the day was filled with laughter and good times. I think they really got the balance right by doing things their own way and not subscribing to the traditional notions of what a wedding should entail. Despite dismissing many of the formalities associated with weddings there was no shortage of attention to detail, things like having  a bouquet of sunflowers which had been grown in family and friends gardens. Reading back Grace’s answers to your questionnaire I’m still surprised by the level of thought and love that went into making such an amazing day. Olly and Grace were an absolute pleasure to work with and I can only wish that all weddings where as much fun to be a part of.”

….ring image by Grace


Names…. Olly & Grace

Wedding Date…. Friday 5th August 2011

The Proposal…. I came home from a tough week at school on a cold January Friday night. It was due to be my 29th Birthday on the Saturday, and Olly had surprised me by decorating the conservatory with candles and flowers – which I though was for my Birthday. He had cooked our ‘signature’ dish ‘Eggs Rubber’ (scrambled eggs) discovered in New Zealand when we lived there, and so named for the texture we prefer. After dinner, I settled down ready for desert, and Olly got down on one knee! A total and absolute surprise! Turned out he’d taken the day off work to make me the most beautiful book showing the development of ‘The Ring’ – a bespoke greenstone and silver ring designed and made in New Zealand – which had been a work in progress for over a year! To add to the surprises, Olly had booked the date and venue already! A location we had mused over in the past, and a date that would incorporate a visit from his brother’s family who live in Australia. We cried the night away, toasted our future and let off two lanterns for wishes, love, family in Australia, and the amazing-ness of the occasion. A beautiful, perfect and all-encompassing surprise evening of love.

The Vision for the day…. A celebration of our relationship, our beliefs, the things we love and the people we love. Relaxed, easy and enjoyable.

The Planning process…. With date and venue done, guest list and the ceremony were the priorities. Save the dates sent out on a Porthtowan postcard, so friends could book accommodation in advance. My class at school designed some covers for the invites, and my Mum picked her favourite. I then designed the rest of the invite around the cover, and they were sent.

Budget…. How ever much we could save, with a lot of help from family. Roughly £2,000.

The Venue… The Boardroom at The Blue Bar, Porthtowan, Cornwall – right on the beach. The best nachos in the country, the most incredible staff and superbly delicious BBQ food. Haloumi kebabs rocked our world!

The Dress + Accessories….. This was an absolutely incredible part of the whole wedding process. I didn’t feel like I could wear white because of what it is traditionally supposed to represent, and I am not a fan of ‘the’ wedding dress. I wanted something special, that only existed for Olly and I. No veil, and no nothing that wasn’t a one-off. It was a completely bespoke design that changed and morphed as it evolved in to the final piece. It was made by Facets of Avalon, Glastonbury. I had a matching hair clip. The Dress is named ‘Sands and Sea-Spray’ in relation to my design, wedding location and colours. Salt was used to make the splashes on the coloured silk. Copper wireworked Maori Koru spirals and Cornish shells adorned by back and the front shoulder area. My silver sandals borrowed from my best friend, Polly.

 Finding the dress…. My mother lives near Glastonbury, and we popped in on a ‘routine’ half-term lunch trip about 6 months before the proposal. We discovered Facets of Avalon, which is an incredible mother and daughter team whose skills lie in painted silk and copper wire creations. My exact words… “If I ever get married… I’d love my dress to be form here”. Once the proposal happened, due to budget, my choices were a hand-made version by my mother (probably out of last-year’s curtains) or, of course, a creation from Facets. Fortunately, I think my sister and her partner though the curtains wouldn’t really suit the day, so offered to help us afford a Facets dream come true. Jan Billings and Rachel Reilly are two incredibly talented ladies. I owe them so much for the piece of magic they created for me. The journey of creation was beautiful – and a lot of the final product is down to them having the freedom to adapt and change their ideas, as the feel of the dress took shape. I am very, very lucky.

Groom’s attire… Some grey/brown trousers in the Zara sale, and an embroidered shirt from his wardrobe. Leather flip-flops from Marks and Spencer.

The Readings + Music…. Music took us the longest to decide, as we had a lot of special songs from many points of our relationship. The most poignant song was ‘Hey There Delilah’ by the Plain White T’s symbolising the time we were apart before Olly came over to NZ. This was to be the music during which I would walk towards Olly. The most emotional song of the day. We first danced to an edited live version of ‘Everlong’ by The Foo Fighters. Other songs included ‘Love, Love, Love’ by Avalanche City, ‘Busy’ by Olly Murs, ‘Island’ by The Starting Line, ‘From Yesterday’ by 30 Seconds to Mars, ‘Glitter in the Air’, by Pink and ‘Number 1’ by Ndubz. All have attached memories and moments of amazing-ness in our lives.  Olly’s mother read a tear-jerking‘The Promise’ by Eileen Rafter. My best friend Polly, read her own amazingly emotional creation called, ‘A little Bit of Water’.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. My incredible sister. She excitedly showed me the dress she would wear when I told her we’d got engaged! A gorgeous white crochet dress from GAP. I had a bracelet made for her by the same woman who made the detail for my dress. My Mum walked me down the aisle with her, and she also had a necklace made by Facets.

The Flowers… Sunflowers grown by my class and my Mum’s husband. I held three small sunflowers tied with an old piece of blue baler-twine.

The Cake… No cake, just delicious, zingy lemon tart made by Sarah Garwood. My Mum worked for Sarah for over 20 years in an outside catering business, and the lemon tart was an exceptional delicacy that I absolutely loved throughout my childhood. Incredibly lucky that Sarah agreed to make them for us!

Your Photographer…. A childhood friend of Olly’s – the amazingly hard-working, dedicated, understanding, on the level, inspiring, easy-going, talented Ben Wyeth. Worked his socks off, and the pictures he produced captured everything we remembered and all the bits that went past in a blur. He absolutely rocked the day and went above and beyond. His ideas produced some gorgeous memories for us. A hilarious ‘photobooth’ option was a superb addition to the evening’s shenanigans!

The Details + Decor…. Photos and objects illustrating our childhoods and our journey as the dream team. Hand painted jam jars by my Mum and cousin, with night lights in. Jams jars stuffed with white mice, strawberry fizzy lances, flying saucers and party rings – all our absolute favourites! Hessian table cloths, yellow gingham napkins. Our rings we designed ourselves and are exactly the same – they are ‘halo’ in shape (the original never ending shape of traditional rings) and made from ‘Black Zirconium’ which is one of the strongest metals. We had ‘Us. We. Our.’ Engraved on the inside in white. My Mum had secretly been collecting and drying out rose petals from her garden for months. This was the confetti! She also made a hilarious icing ‘Grace & Olly’ on the top of a plastic plane! Another excellent surprise! The whole party set off 20 coloured (eco-friendly) lanterns form the beach, made a wish and watched them float up and out to sea.

The Honeymoon…. Not really! A couple of extra nights in Cornwall, then two tickets to see Lee Evans in Bournemouth a week later. The Inbetweeners at The Movies, topped off with Pizza Express. Brilliant laughter-filled ‘us’ shenanigans.

Memorable moments… Grabbing an urgent lift from friends to get my hair done, when I realised my car keys were 10 miles away! THAT feeling just before the music started and I walked in to see Olly. Hey There Delilah, Plain White T’s. Everlong, Foo Fighters… The list is far too long. The ‘special moments’, are actually not applicable because, honestly, the entire day rocked our worlds to the core. It was magic. Pure, emotional, spine-tingling, exhilarating, unexplainable magic.

Advice for other couples… Think about you. The things that make you real, the things that made you both an ‘us’, the things that are most important to you. The rest will happen around that.

Credit where credit’s due….

Ben Wyeth Photography

The Blue Bar

Porthtowan Heights (accommodation)

Facets of Avalon

Wedding Rings

Thanks so much to Olly and Grace for sharing their wedding with us today…. are you planning on a budget affair? Did this wedding help you come up with any cost cutting ideas? xoxo

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