If you need cheering up this afternoon this colourful wedding by the sea is guaranteed to do just that. There's giant balloons, bright florals and oysters, all resulting in immense fun had by all at the fabulous East Quay Venue in Whitstable. Bride Cara looks simply stunning in a Elizabeth Avey gown, which she had altered to truly suit her style, and her maids look beautiful by her side in Orla Kiely dresses. Every image by Deborah Grace Photography really captures the essence of this cheery coastal wedding to perfection, so sit back and enjoy.


Cara the Bride: I always knew I wanted either a vintage dress or something Valentino-esque, so instead I kind of went for both. I bought my vintage dress from Elizabeth Avey and then with the help of my bridesmaid Verity who works in fashion, we redesigned the dress, taking inspiration from the mass of Valentino dresses on my Pinterest board. Then the superstar seamstresses’ at Golden Needle altered the dress for me and voila I had the dress of my dreams. I teamed my dress with Valentino silver glitter tango pumps, Zoe & Morgan silver Gypsy Heart earrings and an Indian-gold bangle from my Aunt that was originally given to her by my great Aunt on her wedding day. In the evening I changed into a silver lace, sleeveless Self Portrait dress so I could get hot and sweaty on the dance floor.

Grooms Attire

We both love Paul Smith so it was a no brainer when it came to Moppett’s suit. He wore a Paul Smith navy blue suit with vintage braces, Russell and Bromley leather brogues and a Paul Smith pastel stripe silk tie with complementing coloured socks (which were also worn by the two best men). To finish off his outfit Moppett’s Mum gave him his gold tie pin from his Christening and as a wedding gift, I got Moppett some Paul Smith googly eye cuff links.

The Venue

We actually found the venue completely by accident. I took Moppett to Whitstable for his birthday and while having lunch at The Lobster Shack we discovered East Quay Venue and instantly fell in love with it. My parents have always had a boat so growing up my family spent most weekends at sea, going from harbour to harbour eating lobster and chips, so the venue couldn’t have been more fitting.

Colour Scheme/Decor

Me and Moppett both work in the creative industry so we had a lot of fun coming up with the look and feel of our day. We designed everything and then pulled in a few favours from our super talented friends; our pal Florrie did the amazing calligraphy for the invites and our buddies Cachete Jack did awesome illustrations for the table plan. For styling the venue we wanted to create a relaxed, colourful and fun environment that would hopefully make people smile. With the help of our incredible families we filled the venue with festoon lights, covered tables in blue gingham and coloured candles, made a balloon garland for the staircase and created fun backdrops for the band and ceremony space. For colours we picked ones that would pop out against the muted sea backdrop - oranges, yellows and pinks.


People always say no one remembers the flowers at a wedding but these flowers were truly out of this world. The super talented Palais Flowers created the most stunning colour popping flower arrangements that the guests couldn’t stop talking about. My Dad collects Toby Jugs so we had a nautical themed character jug on each table, from The Lobster Man to Captain Ahab each jug was filled with beautiful blooms that also made up our table names. In the ceremony space Palais hung single stem flowers using fishing rope, which when I saw for the first time as I walked down the aisle, I shed a little tear of happiness.


I bought the bridesmaids dresses before I’d even thought about mine, as when I saw them I knew they were perfect. The tomato spot dresses were from Orla Kiely and I loved the fact that each dress was a bit different. I wanted the girls to pick their own shoes as I think it’s nice to show off a bit of their own style and personality. As a gift for the bridesmaids I got each of them an initial necklace from Missoma.


My Dad walked me down the aisle to Blackbird by The Beatles, I have so many happy memories of my Dad singing and playing this on his guitar, so it was the perfect song. During the ceremony I read my all-time favourite poem, Warning by Jenny Joseph. I didn’t want to be a bride that didn’t stand up and say anything, but with all the wedding planning I never found the time to write a speech. The poem was a lovely alternative to doing a speech that added a personal touch to the ceremony.


The band was probably one of the hardest things to find because we knew exactly what we wanted. After hours of trailing the internet for a brass band that did contemporary songs with a great singer we finally found Drum ‘n’ Brass. They certainly didn’t disappoint, everyone danced the night away and was completely blown away with how awesome they were. To capture the fun of the evening we hired The Photo Booth Guys, who were great. We loved their open-style retro booths as you could cram heaps of people in each shot. We bought loads of nautical themed props for people to mess around with like inflatable lobsters and vintage sailor hats. Something we didn’t even think about is how much people would enjoy spending the day on the beach. We were so lucky with the weather and had most beautiful evening sunset, a few guests even changed into their swim suits and had a cheeky swim.


We’re both into our food and Moppett has his own food magazine - Pasture, so having great local food was super important to us. After the ceremony, everyone spilled out onto the beach to sip on Ruinart champagne and slurp on freshly shucked oysters. Lunch was locally caught Lobster and chips washed down with Louis Latour Macon Lugny wine. To keep bellies happy in the evening we had a hog roast and selection of Kentish cheese’s. We’ve been to a few wedding’s where the cake looks untouched, so instead we decided to go for a crowd pleaser, Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They certainly got scoffed down quickly, even my Grandma was a huge fan!


To get to the venue with my Dad we used Karma Kabs, a vintage Indian Ambassador car that’s based on the Morris Oxford from the 1950s. My Grandma is originally from Kerala and my Mum was born and grew up in India, so I’ve always been inspired by Indian culture and aesthetics, so when I found Karma Kabs I was over the moon.


We spent ages looking at photographers and when we came across Debs we knew instantly she was right for us. She captures real, honest, natural moments but manages to take them in a way that still feel so special and significant without being cheesy. Deborah was such a delight on the day, she made everything feel easy and relaxed. She really brought to life the magic of the day.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Bridal Gown: Elizabeth Avey | Alterations: Gold Needle Ltd | Bridal Shoes: Valentino | Second Dress: Self Portrait | Earrings: Zoe and Morgan | Hair & Makeup: Alice Howlett | Bridesmaid Dresses: Orla Kiely | Groom & Groomsmen: Paul Smith | Venue: East Quay | Florist: Palais Flowers | Cake: Krispy Kreme | Cheese: The Cheese Box | Stationery: Florrie | Table Plan: Cachete Jack | Lobster Wax Seal: Dokki Design | Decor : Bubblegum Balloons | Band: Drum 'n' Bass | Photo Booth: The Photo Booth Guys | Transport: Karma Kabs

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