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Choosing a location which really means something to you can create a super personal wedding day.
WWW readers Ben and Lucy did just that and tied the knot on the 30th August 2014 in Poole. They hosted their wedding at two different Yacht clubs in the harbour, with a beautiful marquee for the celebrations and a boat trip complete with red arrow air display.
They used their location to inspire their décor which included the sweetest nautical details. An old sail was used to create the flag table numbers, there were Dolphin biscuits and boat place names.
I so love the multi colour blooms, pie and cheese cake and the stylish outfits.
Thanks goes to the amazing Emma Kenny for providing the imagery this morning.
THE PROPOSAL | For one of our earliest dates, Ben arranged a walking tour of one of my favourite areas in Hampstead Heath; we had such a great date here, we always remembered it as it was where we first held hands! So, for the proposal, Ben had arranged a date night back in Hampstead Heath and we went back to the same French restaurant that we had stumbled upon on that night. After a really lovely meal we walked towards a tiny observatory and were greeted by an old Astronomer, Captain Birdseye’s doppelganger, smoking a cigar. He ushered us in to a tiny circular room at the top of the heath with a step ladder and a telescope that was trained on to the moon. I climbed up the step ladder and while looking at the moon which was beautifully illuminated, Ben did an upwards lunge on one knee and proposed! After a few tears and a high pitched ‘yes’ chilled champagne was produced by ‘the captain.’
THE VISION | We wanted a relaxed, personal, unique and fun day which was on the sea and absolutely had to involve a boat. Neither of us is religious and so we wanted a blessing on the main day and then to have the legal ceremony a few days after with just immediate family at the Townhall in Islington, where we live. The blessing would have all the lovely things that a traditional wedding has except it would be super personal to us. A close friend of ours would be our ‘celebrant’ and lead the ceremony, with readings and music from close family and friends. I grew up opposite Parkstone Yacht Club which has stunning views of Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island and, as my mother is a member, we were allowed to have our ceremony there which allowed us to have a truly unique and never done before wedding. The ceremony was in a marquee with clear windows which meant you could see the harbour and all the boats at the yacht club from inside. A Greenslades ferry then took the wedding party around the harbour and in to the bay for a couple of hours for champagne and canapés with a steel drummer playing music aboard. The red arrows were on display for the Bournemouth Airshow and we had an amazing view of the whole show, we even had a heart formation flying past the boat!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Working in project management there’s nothing I enjoy more than a list and a plan! Ben and I went for the divide and conquer approach each sorting out various aspects of the day. Ben led more of the logistics of the day which were quite complex as the venue had not had a wedding there before as it’s an operating yacht club, moving 130 guests from one yacht club to another down thin pontoons, with a separate boat transporting the gang plank for everyone to get on and off the ferry. It was quite the challenge. I spent more time on the detailed things – decoration of 3 venues, colour schemes etc as well as the photographer and florist. We were both actively involved in all the planning and worked really well as a team. I found Pinterest really useful for the planning.
BUDGET | Our initial aim was to spend £15-20k but ended up spending about £25k.
THE VENUE | The whole day was around Poole Harbour, which is where I grew up. The ceremony was at Parkstone Yacht Club, in a marquee overlooking the harbour. The canapé reception was on one of Greenslade’s ferries which took guests around Poole Harbour and in to Poole Bay for champagne and canapés. They found a brilliant spot to watch the Red Arrows air show display as part of the Bournemouth Airshow. The ferry picked up the wedding party from Parkstone Yacht club and after about 2 hours took everyone to the second venue – the Royal Motor Yacht Club which is on the Sandbanks peninsular, again with beautiful views across the harbour and the setting Sun. Both yacht clubs were amazingly helpful and accommodating in what we wanted for the day.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The designer was Sarah Janks, and the dress was Delaney. I borrowed mikimoto pearl and diamond earrings and bracelet form my family.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found this the most stressful part of the planning as I really couldn’t face spending a lot of money on a dress. I started off just wanting something from a high street shop, but then the more I started planning the day and looking at dresses I realised that I did want a wedding dress. (Although I didn’t want one that was too ‘weddingy’) I tried on about 30 dresses and felt as though none of them reflected the day we wanted, how I wanted to look/ feel on the day or flattered my figure. Then I went back to the very first shop I went to and tried on the first dress I liked and ended up getting that one. (and after a quick phone call to Ben about the price and an emergency 2nd opinion from my sister)
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We knew we wanted blue for the groom and ushers to reflect the coastal theme. Ben’s suit was from New and Lingwood.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We wanted one reading to be more light hearted and one to be more sentimental. The first reading was ‘Falling in love is like owning a dog’ by Taylor Mali and the second reading was ‘The Art of Marriage’ by Peterson.
I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, played on the steel drums. The steel drummer also played throughout the canapé reception on the ferry.
Our walking down the aisle song as husband and wife was ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Were comprised of my sister Tori who was the maid of honour, and 5 other wonderful friends; Clacko, Vic, Em, Jess and Mim.
THE FLOWERS | A good friend of ours has recently set up her own florist and did all of the wedding flowers. I could not have asked for more, the flowers were exactly what I was after and there were so many arrangements on the tables. I wanted bright, summery, cutting garden style flowers with corals and peaches to complement the bridesmaids’ dresses and the coastal theme of the day. Raffia was used to tie the bouquets together and it was used throughout the day; chair end flower arrangements along the aisle, around jam jar table arrangements and for the button holes.
THE CAKE | We knew we wanted something different from the traditional wedding cake, mainly because neither of us like fruit cake and because we both absolutely love cheese and pies and so the cheese and pork pie wedding cake idea was born. It would also double up as providing munchies for the guests later on in the evening. Our wedding present from my sister was the wedding cake and she amazingly made all the pork pies from scratch, including the pastry and designed the whole cake. There was a lot of product testing in the run up which was definitely an added bonus.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We really liked the more relaxed informal photo style which echoed the overall feeling we wanted to create for the day. As soon as I saw Emma Kenny’s website I knew that she could create the exact style that I wanted. Super friendly, very relaxing presence and professional throughout, I could not have asked for more. Even when our pre-wedding shoot, which was meant to be the day before the wedding, was called off as we ran out of time, Emma managed to create wonders in a matter of minutes.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The ceremony venue: Signalling flags were hung up around the marquee, which added great splashes of colour to an otherwise very white venue. We hired white chairs and the chair ends were decorated with wooden hearts and flower arrangements. Various shades of blue paper lanterns were hung from the ceiling to break up the whiteness and create interest in the various heights they were hung. Dried rose petals bought from Marrakesh were spread along the aisle.
Signs – everything with a font on it was designed/ made by one of my bridesmaids. I wanted to keep the colours consistent through the day without being too “matchy” so royal blues and whites were chosen.
The reception venue: home made dolphin shaped biscuits, made by Ben’s mum, were hung off each chair for the favours – absolutely delicious and in line with the coastal theme. The table signs were made from an old sail cut in to triangles and super glued to dowel rods. The rods were then propped up with local sand in mini buckets. Photos of our friends and family were pegged around the venue. We had a fancy dress DIY booth, with a Polaroid camera and pirate/ sailor themed fancy dress and a guest book to stick the photos with a message. The place settings were paper boats and rafts made from vintage map wrapping paper, with the guest name written on the flag at the top. The ceiling was draped with various shades of blue ribbon to give it more colour and interest.
THE HONEYMOON | We had a ‘mini – moon’ for 4 days after the Islington wedding and spent it around Bordeaux. As we live in Islington the Euro Star, from Kings Cross, is about 20 minutes away so we hopped on that a few hours after the legal wedding and had a night in Paris to start. We then got a train to St Emilion where we stayed in a beautiful château for a couple of days, cycling around the stunning wine regions and sampling lots of it on our way. We then got on another train to Bordeaux where we had 2 nights and a day exploring the picturesque windy cobbled streets, sampling of course, the amazing cheese and wine.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I think I’m supposed to say something about the day but the most memorable moment was after we had left the wedding venue at midnight and walked to our hotel. We had a glass of champagne on the terrace by the sea, the wind had died down and it was a lovely moment of calm taking in the brilliant day that just happened.