Tide times dictated the date for Zoë & James’ big day. The couple chose to hold their wedding on the banks of the estuary at Salcombe – so the timing of the water was key in creating the beautiful backdrop they wanted.
Boat trips, an American Deep South inspired sharing menu, golden wheat fields and lots of blowsy blooms in whites & blues made for a day that looked so pretty AND like such fun.
By marrying James, Zoë inherited a Mother-in-Law who used to own a Bridal Boutique – this meant that she could save on the dress and buy a lovely pair of Louboutins instead.
Zoë The Bride: The idea of planning a wedding had always filled me with fear. After looking at 100’s of wedding blogs I was overwhelmed with inspiration for colour schemes, style choices and decor ideas. We wanted to plan a wedding that would reflect us and one thing we could agree on was a relaxed and informal wedding that above all was a great party.
Having been brought up in South Devon I had several ideas for a venue for our wedding. We decided on Pool Farm Meadow as is a picturesque spot on the Kingsbridge/Salcombe estuary which is particularly pretty when the tide is in. After looking at the tide times our wedding date was set. Our ceremony took place in the beautiful St Mary’s church in West Charleton that overlooks the estuary of the reception venue, I also attended as a child.
My dress was kindly donated to me by my Mother In Law who used to own a Bridal Boutique (jackpot!) The design ticked all the boxes, it was simple, elegant with vintage applique. As the dress was unfussy and minimal I went to town with the 1950’s style veil from What Katy Did Next and splurged on some 1950’s style glitter Louboutins.
As a present to James I bought him a tie clip in silver and he wore brown brogues with his Next suit.
The Bridesmaids wore 1950’s prom style dresses from Coast. I wanted the girls to have a 1950s feel to their look and although the dresses were last minute purchases after an issue with the original dresses made to order from Etsy – they looked perfect on the day.
My advice is to order Bridesmaids dresses early! Dresses can always be tailored to fit at the last minute to account for any weight loss.
We really wanted the wedding to look a bit different, not too formal but still elegant. When the marquee arrived we were blown away. Adrian and his team from Devon Party Marquees worked tirelessly to put it up in the heat (and down again in the driving rain). We wanted a contemporary marquee design that could open up to make the most of the view over the estuary.
We enlisted the help of graphic designer Emily Fisher to design chalk boards for the table plan, drinks menu and signs. We had a rough idea of how we wanted them to look and they definitely exceeded our expectations.
Our Wedding favours were small jam jars filled with chilli jam kindly made by my Father In Law, covered with brown paper and string. My Dad created the fantastic picture board styled with retro wallpaper as we wanted something original. He did an amazing job and it was well received by the guests at the end of the evening, lots of photos were taken, along with some I would like to forget!
The wonderful Emma Vowles created the beautiful bouquets and button holes. I had seen Emma’s flowers before at a friend’s wedding and loved the style. After a couple of emails we met with Emma, as soon as we met I knew that we would end up with the most amazing flowers and we weren’t disappointed. Emma completely got my vision and was so helpful all the way through the planning! I wanted a loose bouquet with flowers that would look like I’d picked them in a garden.
My bouquet had vintage roses, scabia and greenery in a hand tied posy with grey velvet ribbon. The girls had a similar bouquet to mine but with slightly more blue flowers. I loved that the all the button holes were different and individually beautiful. Emma also arranged two large zinc buckets full of flowers that we used outside the church and then again in the marquee.
Choices were limited in terms of catering companies in South Devon. James is a very keen chef and likes to experiment with food ideas we’ve gathered from travelling. He had specific ideas of what the menu should be. He wanted to go along the lines of Mexican/American Soul food/Pulled Pork/Slaw/BBQ etc. We came across Liz from The Dinner Service who understood exactly the theme we were going for and was able to suggest additional ideas to work with James’.
What was produced was an amazing banquet that was shared family style on each table. Everyone commented on the quality of the food which was completely unique and unlike any wedding they’d been to before. Hot sauce on a wedding table is not a common theme but went down a storm.
We went on a booze cruise a month before the wedding which meant we had stacks of excellent French Wine for the big day. The Globe Inn (opposite the wedding venue) supplied us with barrels of Otter Ale and a bar as well as being super helpful in offering accommodation for most of James’ family and supplying all of the necessary equipment for the beer barrels at no extra cost.
My father in law offered to make our cake as a wedding present for us. It was such a generous offer and he did an amazing job.
Our photographers were Darren and Sarah from SD Photography. I really dislike wedding photos that are posed group shots with everyone having fixed smiles on their faces. I wanted most of the photos to be candid shots of everyone enjoying themselves, which they did absolutely brilliantly, along with some lovely shots of James and I. They were with us the whole long day from start to finish and they took some absolutely beautiful shots.
The whole day was incredible and everything went smoothly. I loved seeing James stood at the end of the aisle. I loved our first dance, the band and dance floor shenanigans. The boat trips up the estuary were amazing. The weather was perfect. The day went so fast and everything came together. The little details that I thought would make or break the day paled into insignificance with all the wedding day emotions.