I have a LOT of love for this wedding. So much so that when I saw gorgeous Bride Camilla on The Mews Bridal's blog, I just knew we needed to feature her big day on Rock My Wedding. For starters, Camilla is wearing a combination of two of my favourite designers, Stephanie Allin (best of British, feminine and lacy) and Laure de Sagazan (French bohemian loveliness). She's also sporting a totally unique antique wax crown by Rosie Weisencrantz, which is just so effortlessly stylish. Then there's the Bridal party in white - my favourite look for Bridesmaids. And the whimsical bouquet by The Blue Carrot - simply stunning. And finally, just when I thought I couldn't love it anymore, the whole wedding is by the ocean in Cornwall, my favourite place in world! The images are beautifully atmospheric - Andy at Harrera Images has such a distinctive style that somehow both brims with fresh creativity and yet produces a strong sense of nostalgia. The wedding itself, and the capture of the day, has stolen my heart and I hope you enjoy it too.
The VenueCamilla The Bride: From the moment we got engaged (on a frozen glacier in Iceland - Chris is a man of big gestures) we knew that Prussia Cove was where we wanted to be married. We had moved to Cornwall from London 3 years ago, but prior to that we travelled to West Cornwall for mini-breaks 3 or 4 times a year, and Prussia Cove was somewhere we always liked to go walking, it felt so special and undiscovered, and located in it’s own private bay right on the seas edge the setting was perfect for a summer wedding, and it allowed us to show all our friends from London what we love about Cornwall. The venue is licensed for Civil Ceremonies, however we decided we didn’t want one, whilst they suit some people we just wanted something more personal to reflect mine and Chris’s journey and reasons for getting married, so we decided on a Humanist ceremony (which I will expand upon later) which meant we had to get married before the ceremony at Prussia Cove. So with a small gathering of immediate family and close friends we got married at our local church in Paul the Thursday before, which we had always been fairly dismissive about leaving planning all the details such as vows, readings and music till days before, thinking we didn’t want it to detract from the main event on the Saturday, but it was actually a beautiful sunny day and was incredibly special and we followed it with a fancy pub lunch and lots of prosecco at The Old Coastguard in Mousehole.
The WeatherThe wedding at Prussia Cove, was always hanging in the balance, we had booked it for Glastonbury weekend (notorious for it’s relentless rain) unbeknown to us at the time, and hoped to celebrate the whole day outdoors, and whilst there was a plan B we were desperately ignoring that we might have to actually go through with it. As the day approached, the weather forecast was looking terrible for the Friday and the Sunday but the Saturday was sunny and warm, and it was exactly that...if not a little windy by the end of the day.
The ReceptionWe were married in the walled garden with all our friends and family watching sat on hay bales, with an outdoor drinks reception and then later we ate, drank and danced the night away in a traditional style marquee positioned right on the cliffs edge - it was just perfect! It’s such a great venue, as the owner Peter is so relaxed, he’ll let you do almost anything.
The BrideI had it in my head that I hated wedding dresses, and despite the fact I love getting dressed up and experimenting with clothes, I hated the idea of dressing up as a ‘bride’ for the day in a dress that ordinarily I wouldn’t look twice at...so when it came to my search I had quite a job on my hands. After trawling the internet endlessly for dresses which felt more me, I stumbled across The Mews Bridal, and suddenly the dress dilemma was flipped on it’s head and the tough decision became which dress!! I fell in love with every dress I tried on and each and every one of them could have been ‘the one’. The dress I actually chose was the ‘wildcard’ which Rebecca at The Mews made me try on, and I teamed it with a button up lace jacket by french designer Laure De Sagazan. I’d seen an image of a bride wearing an antique wax crown online, and I knew immediately I wanted one to complete my look, but again that was easier said than done, and it took me 6 months to find one. Eventually I found a lady called Rosie in Finsbury Park who had a large selection of antique crowns, and the one I choose reminded me of little rabbit ears! Very 'A Midsummer Nights Dream’. I kept the rest of my outfit very simple. I wanted an outfit that reflected my personality, whilst still feeling special. I also wanted an outfit that was in keeping with our coastal venue.
The BridesmaidsI was adamant I didn’t want a specific colour theme for the wedding, and my three bridesmaids were all so different in their body shapes, personal styles and personalities I wanted them to wear something which suited them and wasn’t just a run of the mill bridesmaids dress. My two sisters wore beautiful sheer white Preen dresses, and my amazingly clever and talented sister Gemma designed and made a dress for Jess who was 6 months pregnant at the time that looked like it was part of the same collection. Sourcing similar fabrics and finishings, but in a different style to accommodate her growing bump! They looked stunning. My flower girls dresses were from Zara and matched the style and colours of my top. Before the wedding when I told people my bridesmaids were wearing white, everyone gave me that look and told me I was brave, as if I was going to be upstaged, or I’d have five little brides walking down the aisle after me, but I proved them all wrong, I think we made a strong collective!
The Groom & GroomsmenChris wore a beautiful bespoke wool (yes in June!) three piece suit from Cad and the Dandy, and being as much of a show off as I am he had 2 different waistcoats made so he could have a costume change throughout the day. We didn’t want the men in formal suits as it didn’t suit the venue and feel of the day, so we put them in mix and match separates, with the best man Steve wearing the opposite colour way to the groomsmen.
The FlowersUsually it would be the girl that would be particular about the flowers, but with a background in working at a garden nursery many years ago, Chris is quite the dab hand with a floral arrangement! So needless to say flowers were a really important part of our day and finding the right person to trust with them was even more important. Susanne at The Blue Carrot was the last lady we met with and we immediately knew she was the lady for the job. As we didn’t have a specific colour theme, we wanted our flowers to reflect the natural wild flowers that were growing on the cliff faces and coastal paths in Cornwall in June. The tables were covered in antique jars of all sized and lots of beautiful small arrangements, no two the same. Susanne was incredible, I can’t enthuse about her enough, the flowers were just stunning and she approached the job like an artist. Chris added to her arrangements, filling huge milk churns and jugs with large wild flowers and he built a huge willow arch which we got married under… which was so beautiful.
The FoodJust as we had chosen the venue to showcase the beauty of Cornwall, we wanted to do the same with the food and serve fresh local produce, and as we had decided on an informal approach to our day, we wanted the meal to include sharing platters which could be passed down the long wooden tables; there were langoustines, sardines, potted crab, and hake all topped off with naked cake for desert with fresh cornish clotted cream and berries. The caterers were fantastic, and the feedback we received from so many of the guests was it was the nicest wedding food they’d had! We also served a wonderful welcome drink of freshly made lemonade by my beautiful friends Ross and Alicia and my homemade Elderflower presse using the local flowers I had picked.
The StationeryWe commissioned a very talented artist called Julie at Holly Hock Lane to design us a beautiful wedding invite to include an image of the venue. Chris is a Photographer and Television Director of Photography, so he went and took a beautiful picture of the venue and sent it off, and what came back was incredible, it even had a tear off slip for RSVPs, every clever and I think it excited our guests for what was to come.
The EntertainmentWe wanted a traditional Cornish band to play at the wedding, without being too fiddly diddley, and we reached the perfect compromise in Flats and Sharps, a young Bluegrass Folk band, I will never forget that memory of the music playing whilst standing on the edge of the cliff with the sea crashing below me, just magical. Our friend Louis then finished the night for us with a DJ Set.
The PhotographyChris is a Television Director of Photography and Photographer himself, so finding the man he was going to relinquish this responsibility to on our wedding day was potentially the hardest task of all, with him even asking if he was allowed a camera himself! You can guess what my response was...no!! However, we had booked Andy Green from Harrera Images before we had even confirmed the date or venue. We met Andy at a wedding fair, somewhere we felt very out of place, and as did he, it was a match made in heaven. Unlike all the other photographers, pouncing on us like charity fundraisers in the street, Andy was sat back reading a book, letting his photographs do the talking, and we both just fell for his fine art photography and knew he would capture our day how Chris would. Andy was amazing, and the photographs speak for themselves, people are endlessly complimenting us on how incredible the pictures are. He now only took beautiful photos, but he guided us through our day and he even turned up unexpectedly for our first wedding.
The CeremonyIt was our photographer who actually suggested we consider a humanist ceremony, after I told him I wasn’t sure about a civil ceremony. Initially I was hesitant thinking it would be all hocus pocus, but he put us in touch with Zena and from the moment we met her we knew we wanted her to marry us. Chris and I had been through more than most to get to the point of marriage, as Chris was diagnosed with cancer just 6 months after we were engaged, and after waiting 18 months for him to get the all clear we agreed we had proven the ‘in sickness and health’ part and we wanted to pick up where we left off! After setting us homework, the ceremony which Zena wrote especially for us was incredibly personal, every word was relevant to us and it contained funny and heart warming stories about how we got together and the journey we had been on so far. We bonded with her immediately and it felt like an old friend was guiding us through our special moment together. She made a clever and wonderful suggestion that we allowed those we had selected to do a reading to choose their own readings so they would be a surprise for us on the day - which was one of my favourite parts of the service. We chose 3 of our closest friends to do readings. Chris sadly lost his Mum to cancer years before we met, so the next best thing, he asked his Mum's sister Gerardine to do a reading she read The Promise by Eileen Rafter, one of my oldest uni friends Aaron did a reading too ‘I will be here’ by Steven Curtis Chapman. Our final reading was from our joint friend Steve; when Chris and I met on a job we were working for Steve in the Jordanian desert, so he did a hilarious reading which was a mix between passages of the Qu-ran and Cornish Words of Wisdom!
Creative DetailsBoth Chris and myself are very visual and creative people, due to our background in Television Production and I now work in Interior Design, and therefore we knew no other way than to prepare for the occasion than we would a shoot. It was all hands on deck the day before, and our wonderful families and friends worked endlessly to dress the venue with 300 meters of bunting (my mum had amazingly sewn), to pom pom fluffing, and table cloth making, and sign writing, table dressing, napkin making the list goes on...some of my favourite personal touches were the individual succulent plants we used as our place settings at the meal which doubled up as our favours, Chris potted them all himself, and we had Terracota pots handmade by a local potter, and each and every one of them was adorned with a hand stamped name tag. Not to mention the 100 napkins I made! One of the best things about the whole occasion, was we had the venue for the whole week, it slept all our family and close friends, which meant celebrations weren’t over on the Saturday, we continued with a sea swim and a BBQ the next day and the next and then next! Just perfect for us.
Venue: Prussia Cove | Dress: Stephanie Allin | Top: Laure de Sagazan | Wax Crown: Rosie Weisencrantz | Bridesmaids: Preen | Flowergirls: Zara | Groom: Cad & The Dandy | Groomsmen: M&S | Florist: The Blue Carrot | Cake: The Natural Cake Company | Catering: The Good Food Catering Co. | Stationery: Holly Hock Lane | Celebrant: Zena Birch