WWW readers Charlotte and Chris are with us today to share their beautiful wedding day, which was held on the 23rd February 2019 at East Quay Venue in Whitstable, Kent. They were lucky enough to have warm and sunny weather on a winters day, which enabled them to host outdoor welcome drinks and make the most of the gorgeous seaside setting.
A unique celebration was at the heart of their plans, with copious food, drink and music for all their loved ones to enjoy. The quirky feel of their venue suited their rustic style perfectly and really created a cosy atmosphere. They enhanced the space with fairy lights, festoons, candles and signage to name a few. Another element that added an extra dimension to their wedding was the abundant flowers. They used greenery, succulents and delicate blooms throughout, I am a real fan of the bountiful bouquets especially.
On to the outfits, as they are just so stylish. Charlotte chose a gorgeous V neck gown with romantic train, Chris wore a navy suit with a contrasting tweed waistcoat and the bridesmaids donned long grey dresses and leather jackets. How very on trend! They looked amazing.
A massive thank you goes to Rebecca Douglas Photography for sharing with us these sensational shots of a really lovely day.
We usually go to Dorset to visit Chris’ godparents. On this particular weekend I had asked to borrow his toothbrush, went into his bag to get it and found the ring box! I didn’t say anything and spent all weekend pretending I didn’t know but wondering when and where he was going to do it. At the end of the weekend we swung by a little village in Hampshire on the way back, and Chris proposed to me on a bench overlooking a church and field of sheep in the rain – I of course said YES!!
We wanted to have quite a simple yet unique wedding, with everybody we loved and with plenty of food, drink and music. We choose the East Quay Venue in Whitstable as it was really quirky and had the beach as a beautiful backdrop.
The Planning Process
We both work in construction, so project management comes very easily to us. We set budget and planned to get married around a year on from our engagement. It helped that we both had very similar ideas on what we wanted. Planning the wedding was really good fun, especially where we had so much support from family and friends.
Our budget was £20,000 and we were very lucky to have financial support from our families to help us achieve our goal.
East Quay Venue is a former oyster shed in the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable in Kent. It provided a really good space where we could hold the entire day in one venue. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny warm day in February, so we were able to spill out onto the beach for welcome drinks, canapes and some fantastic photos. Clare our wedding planner was absolutely brilliant and helped the day run really smoothly.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from Isabella Grace in Tunbridge Wells. I have to say it was not the sort of dress I imagined choosing but it was so elegant and comfortable which is really important to me. I had Miss Kay Seamstress in Tunbridge Wells alter it for me and they did such an amazing job.
My bridesmaids wore dresses from Issa. Chris’s suit was from Jack Bunney.
My bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I, had our hair and makeup done by Kirsten Hair and Makeup, who did an amazing job. Kirsten completely understood the ‘look’ we were going for and made us all feel very relaxed and beautiful on the day.
The Readings & Music
Whilst our guests were waiting for the ceremony to start, we played acoustic piano covers of Elton John hits. My friend Jake delivered an excellent reading at the ceremony. We walked down the aisle to ‘Wonderwall’ played by Chris’ brother Steve on his guitar and exited to Elton John ‘Your Song’. We chose to have Motown jazz and soul playing in the background of our wedding breakfast.
Our first dance was to ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes. We were a bit worried about our first dance so had some help from a local choreographer Nicola to teach us a little routine.
We also had a local band, Project F, perform who cover many Motown, funk and soul hits – they were brilliant and had everyone dancing. Our DJ, Keith, not only controlled the wedding breakfast background music but also the evening music – he did a fantastic job and totally understood what we were after.
All of our flowers, hair flowers, decorative flowers and buttonholes were done by the amazing Jane and her team at Graham Greener. We went for a simple and natural theme with wildflowers, lavender, succulents, ferns and eucalyptus.
The Details & Décor
To save money, we made all of our own wedding invitations, table numbers, placenames etc. Jane decorated our entire venue. We had little jars of flowers on the end of the rows of seats in the ceremony rooms. Our tables were long so we had eucalyptus, ferns and lavender running down the centres with pillar candles. Our dance floor and entrance to the venue had white lanterns, festoons and fairy lights. We also had all of the blackboards and our seating plan in the venue decorated by Lydia at Hand Drawn Maps.
My sister Madeleine and friend Liz were my beautiful bridesmaids, dresses from Issa.
Chris’ groomsmen included his best friends Darren, Ian and Phil, as well as his brother Steve, his step-father Peter and my father David. All suits were from Jack Bunneys. Their experience at Jack Bunneys was very good.
Our beautiful cake was made by Cakes by Tess. We also had some friends and family make cakes and desserts for our dessert table to make it more personal.
Our photographer was Rebecca Douglas who did the most incredible job capturing our day and we couldn’t be happier. She is an amazing photographer and made us feel so relaxed on the day, cannot rate her enough.
Our video was kindly made by our close friends, daughter and father team Rachel and Clive. Rachel and Clive created a wonderful wedding video which we will treasure forever.
We spent two weeks driving around Costa Rica, going on jungle treks, kayaking and wildlife watching. Very romantic and relaxing!
The highlight of the day has to be the weather – we were so lucky to have such a warm and sunny day in February – biggest hit with our guests was fresh oysters and fizz on the beach. One of our favourite moments was sitting at the top table looking out at all of our family and friends enjoying themselves, we felt very blessed.
Advice For Other Couples
Make sure you steal a few moments together to take it all in on the day – its very true when people say that the day will go by in a flash. Try and enjoy planning the wedding – it’s meant to be a fun project to do together. Make sure you speak to each other, be honest about what you do and don’t want. (Oh and brides – very important you find the right underwear for your dress, it’s harder than you think!)
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Rebecca Douglas Photography
East Quay Venue
Flowers & Décor
Jane @ Graham Greener
Isabella Grace Bridal
Miss Kay Seamstress
Oh how wonderful, I just love it all.
Charlotte and Chris, thank you both so much for sharing your amazing wedding story with us xo Lou