As Sam and I celebrated Valentine’s Day this week (when I say celebrated, we ate some glutinous food, drank half a bottle of Prosecco each, all the while wearing trackies and then flopped into bed and straight to sleep at 9.30pm – who said romance was dead eh?!) we discussed the past six years together (nearly two of those married), and looked back on our wedding day. In the whirlwind of getting married, starting a business (www.samuelwinn.co.uk) , renovating our home, falling pregnant and having a baby all within a year of each other I don’t think we have properly looked back on our ‘big day’, so out came the memory stick and we delved through our wedding photo album.
We got married on the 25h of May 2015. The build-up was quite unromantic, as Sam and I decided that I would take the reins in organising our wedding, make the majority of the decisions and just get a few sign offs from him. He on the other hand would renovate our house and come the 23rd of May 2015 (the date of our wedding) married life could commence with a new home in the bag. Sam also knows that I am a complete control freak, and knew that in letting me organise every aspect of our wedding (pretty much) I would perhaps share the decision making on other aspects of our life. Oh how he was SO right.
My hat really goes off to all those Wedding Planners out there. Brides are a cruel customer (the wedding planner in me loathed the bridezilla in me come the big day), and a huge amount of work goes into orchestrating the ‘perfect wedding’. Let’s just hope I never have to do it again (only joking Sam, ‘togetha 4eva’ and all that).
We didn’t have a theme as such, but knew we wanted a spring wedding. It’s such a beautiful time of year for flowers, the weather doesn’t really disappoint (you don’t have too many expectations of sun, especially in Cornwall) and we wanted to keep things local. Our favourite beach is on our doorstep and Sam’s family church just five minutes up the road from where we live. Everything else we chose seemed to compliment the season, and had a slightly ‘fishy’ touch to reflect where we live. Sounds bizarre but the photos should explain all.
What I wore:
I WISH that I could find some of the photos we took of me trying on different wedding dresses. It would capture perfectly just how ridiculous the whole experience was. I went to two bridal shops and tried on a zillion dresses, only to be told by the various sales assistants that over half of these were ‘the one’. The worst was one dress that was three sizes two big, and held together with two massive bulldog clips. It also had a horrendous pink bow around the waist. I was stood there laughing about the whole situation with my mum when the owner of the boutique walked in, practically fell to the floor and shouted through gasped breaths “oh my gawwwwwd, that’s the one, it’s the absolute ONE! Look how it fits your perfectly. You look like Marilyn Monroe”. I think she had clearly been smoking her crack pipe that morning, but then again, so would I be if I knew I had to deal with ten bridezillas that Saturday.
I had anticipated having to go out of county to find a dress that I liked, that was until I visited Amanda K Bridal in Truro. Amanda has worked really hard to bring together a selection of dresses to suit a whole host of brides and their expectations. The service her team provided was exemplary and her boutique is beautiful. I chose a dress from Amanda K Bridal’s Signature Collection and was therefore able to tailor it to suit my vision. I teamed the dress with a beautiful lace top that I could remove, and a pair of shoes from LK Bennet. I felt so comfortable in the whole ensemble and most importantly could dance the night away without needing to change.
My Nana leant me a pair of diamond drop earrings for my something borrowed and I wore a vintage lace veil sourced from another family member, which complimented the vintage flower girl dressed perfectly.
Sam really wanted to wear the classic Morning Suit for our wedding, which I loved. I had to draw the line at a top hat and cane though. Personally this would have looked a little Willy Wonker if you ask me.
All my bridesmaids, my two sisters and best friend, were living in London in the lead up to the wedding so I tasked them with finding their dresses. My best-friend Natalie and I speak everyday and she is as much of a control freak as I am, so I knew they would do the job well. After nearly going for a Ghost number, the girls visited Maids to Measure – a company who offer a dress making service specifically for bridesmaids. They chose a gorgeous light pink, floor length dress, tailored specifically to suit each of their body shapes. I think most bridal parties would be surprised at how cost effective this service is.
The flower girls (there were a few) wore vintage victorian dresses, that looked perfect alongside my dress. We borrowed these from my Aunt’s mother, and they were the same dresses that myself, my sister and a few others wore at my Uncle and Aunt’s wedding many moons ago. It was very special to use them for our wedding.
The boys ordered suits to hire from Moss Bross, this didn’t go quite to plan, and let’s just say the groomsmen were banging on the door of our local branch on the morning of the wedding.
How we did it:
We had a traditional church ceremony held at the beautiful St. Illogan Church in Cornwall, and just round the corner from Sam’s family home. The church was full to the rafters and we sang our favourite hymns, and my sister and Sam’s father read specially selected readings.
We then held an all day and evening reception at Lanyon Manor, were both my family and Sam’s family stayed for the weekend. As we both have families travelling into Cornwall for the long weekend we thought it would be pretty special to have us all stay in one location, and it was. We wanted a marquee wedding, and in retrospect, although it was hard work to organise it was absolutely perfect. Having the opportunity to organise every aspect of your special day means everything’s just as you would wish it to be, no nasty surprises, nothing not to your taste. We had a great team of chefs cook a delicious feast, including a selection of canapes, barbequed peaches to start, lamb as a main and our favourite lemon tarts for dessert. Ice cream was offered in the afternoon and pasties kept guests going in the evening.
We had a bouncy castle to keep the tiny humans entertained throughout the day, and a great band, Sandy Acre 7, kept the dance floor full all night.
Carriages were at midnight, and by then everyone was ready for their beds.
My Uncle is a bit of a car buff and lent us his vintage mercedes for Sam to drive us from the church to the reception. He also organised a pale grey classic Jaguar (complete with vintage driver) to take me and my Father to the church, whilst our guests rode in an old red school bus.
We packaged up little envelopes of wildflower seeds for our guests to take home, and two years later we are still getting reports of flowers popping up across the country. Our wedding stationery was designed by us with the help of my Uncle who runs his own graphic design company, and the Seabass illustration (Sam’s ultimate fishing prize) was kindly drawn for us by one of the ushers, Josh.
Our fur baby Norman was present at most of our wedding, although we made sure it was well known not to feed him any treats.
My Aunt, Emily Nixon, designed and made our wedding bands. Each has the date, and our initials inscribed on the inner side.
Our Best Man’s mum came out of retirement to do our wedding flowers for us, helped by friends and family. I may be biased, but I have never seen such beautiful arrangements.
Another Aunt, made our wonderful wedding cake and transported it all the way from Essex in one piece. A very talented lady indeed.
We were incredibly lucky to secure Kirstin Prisk (he is a much sought after wedding photographer in Cornwall) to capture our wedding for us. Along with his colleague Bertie they did us proud, and some of our favourite images are those taken en-route to the reception on the cliff-top at our favourite beach. Kirstin manages to adapt his style to the feel of each wedding, and we could not be more delighted with his work.
I didn’t want to go into too much detail about our big day, as the photos speak from themselves. However if you would like me to answer any questions you may have then please let me know.
List of suppliers and contributors to our wedding:
Dress: Amanda K Bridal – www.amandakbridal.co.uk
Venue: Lanyon Manor – is now sadly closed for business.
Food: Benedict Quinn – www.canteencornwall.com
Photography – Kirstin Prisk – www.kirstinprisk.co.uk