I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling the need to escape this miserable weather, so this wedding is just what the doctor ordered – and reminds us that sometimes we do actually get beautifully sunny days in the UK (!)
Jemma & Sam’s stunning wedding from Tunnels Beaches is like a breath of fresh air – full of gorgeous views, spectacular florals and one seriously sexy Charlie Brear gown…which was clearly made for Jemma and has us wishing we had more freckles! Jemma is a total babe.
Groom Sam is actually a wedding photographer, and not only any wedding photographer – but the lovely Samuel Docker himself, whose weddings we have featured in abundance on RMW as we love his style and he just has the most stylish couples. So it makes total sense that he played a key role in planning the wedding – in fact he chose the venue with no contribution from Jemma. I know. Boy did good.
Anyway, I’ll pass you over to our gorgeous pair, as their write up is just a joy to read and really made me smile…oh and of course, the photography is pretty epic too as you would expect…
Jemma The Bride: I planned a day in London to see various bridal boutiques, the week before I came across an article for Charlie Brear and how she was formerly the Vintage Wedding Dress Co., so thought I’d take a peek. There it was; Lalique, just had a feeling it could be the one as it was simple, all silk and had the low cut back I knew he would be annoyed if the dress didn’t have. (Groom here!! She has a sexy back!!!) It was sexy but elegant at the same time. I was never going to be a corseted up, full on detail kind of bride. It was like the venue in that respect, simple but stunning. So I called the flagship and they had the last appointment of the day free. Needless to say after traipsing all over London with swollen feet and having some very strange experiences in various other boutiques, we arrived at a very derelict part of Tottenham Court Road at a large yard door and intercom, it then opened up to be a beautiful secret garden and staircase that led to a stunning showroom, all white with large gilded mirrors and chaise lounge. I was made to feel so special and welcome and flattered beyond belief. I went straight for Lalique but thought I’d try others on to, I saved it until last and I’m glad I did as it brought a tear to not only my Mum and friends eyes but mine too.
My Rachel Simpson Shoes matched the era of my dress perfectly.
I left my head dress until the last minute as I just couldn’t find any floral hair pieces that were quite right. A friend of a friend suggested Florrie and Eve, a local business who had just started up. I met up with the lovely Penny, and in 10 days she turned the design around. I gave her my flowers and colours and we discussed the design and she matched everything perfectly. So much so everyone on the day thought they were fresh!
Sam The Groom: I’ll be the first to admit it, I was pretty much a walking advert for Reiss on our wedding day!!! Everything, bar the briefs, were from Reiss! In all honesty, it was one of the very few places that I found to offer on trend pieces for skinny chaps such as myself. I wanted to treat myself to something a little more than just your standard high street suit, without really having the budget to go bespoke. Reiss ticked all of the boxes for me. I knew early on that I wanted a light or pastel blue suit, and in typical bloke fashion, walked into the first store in London and found the one I had in mind!! The shoes took a couple of attempts to source at first, I originally opted for a clean tan brown brogue, but spotted some navy suede loafers with a few weeks to go, and decided to relegate the brogues to the pre-wedding evening! If you can’t treat yourself to a couple of awesome pairs of shoes for your own wedding day, when can you?! It all teamed up with a slim fit white shirt and a navy bow-tie.
Ok, so other than the brave souls who decide to feature on don’t tell the bride, I must be one of the very few grooms who picked a wedding venue without the bride even going to view it!! As a wedding photographer myself, I naturally experience wedding days more than most grooms, and I found it very difficult to find a venue that ticked all of the boxes. It was a very impulsive decision to finally get married, we’d been engaged for almost 2 years when I turned up to shoot a wedding at Tunnels Beaches. We found out we were expecting our first child the day before I proposed to Jemma (No, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding!!!), and this inevitably meant any wedding plans got placed on the back burner. I still remember arriving at Tunnels on a Saturday in June, the skies had started to clear, the venue was empty and I couldn’t help but be slightly knocked back by it’s location. I called Jemma up within 5 minutes and just told her I’d found the venue!!! Driving home that evening, having loved every minute of that days wedding, I was in no doubt that it was the venue for us. I think Jemma just went along with it!!
Everything about the venue was exactly what we wanted, an amazing location, great facilities, amazing food (and I try a lot of wedding food!!!), and to top it off, relaxed and informal staff.
We wanted our friends and family to make a weekend of it, and for them to enjoy a great day on the seaside. We genuinely could not have asked for more from the venue and it’s surroundings. During the ceremony, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! The BBQ lived up to all the hype I had given it, which was a lot!!
Jemma The Bride: I loved the idea of a peach and cream colour palette, and had seen a Pinterest picture of a waterfall bouquet with David Austin roses that I knew I had to have. I also wanted grasses to be incorporated, as I didn’t want the look to be too polished, I wanted everything to feel natural and free. I also knew that I wanted a good mixture of large and small arrangements on the tables so nothing was uniformed. Carole at Charlie’s Flower Shop put these together beautifully; mixing grasses, large seedpods, hydrangeas, and other gorgeous flowers from my favourites list. She also did the beautiful arch on the gazebo we got married in.
We had 3 flower girls, all looking adorable in dresses from ilovegorgeous.
As with the general relaxed feel of the day, we didn’t want the ceremony to be too traditional and were really keen to introduce something that got everyone involved. What better way to do this than to get everyone singing a Fleetwood Mac tune?! Nobody was expecting it until they sat down and saw the running order in the newspapers we had printed, but to see everyone stood up, with the sun beating, singing Fleetwood Mac Everywhere, was a real highlight of the day. It put a smile on everyone’s face and created a great platform for the rest of the day! To finish the ceremony off, we decided that we’d do something a little different for the exit. Rather than opting for the traditional confetti, we thought it would be a great idea to provide everyone with a vintage polyester plane. It gave them something to do during the signing of the documents, but also made for one of our favourite images of the day as they scattered the blue sky!!
For the day, everybody was on the beach, we’d provided crabbing buckets for the kids (and some adults of course), along with spades, fishing nets, rackets and balls. Throw in some music and cold beers, and what’s not to love about that?!
In the evening, we’d composed a quiz based around our time and experiences together, all multiple choice and with the intention of slightly embarrassing ourselves. This went down a storm, far greater than we ever imagined it would do.
For the dancing, Sam knew which band to book as soon as the venue had been secured. Again, one of the benefits of being a wedding photographer, he’d come home raving about a band called Hope Town in 2013, and was in no doubt that they would be at ours. They didn’t disappoint, the dancefloor was packed and literally bouncing!! It was always a little fear that people would just want to sit down and chill out in the evening, watching the band from the edges of the dancefloor, but that wasn’t to be the case here!!!
BBQ, BBQ, BBQ!!!!! We love BBQ’s, so given that’s The Tunnel’s specialty, it was another sign that we’d picked the right venue. Everything was fresh and perfectly cooked, and also not in short supply!
We were really keen to have a good choice and variety rather than one big wedding cake. We used Lucy from Juicy Lucy Cupcakes who produced a stunning array of baking, including a victoria sponge, lemon drizzle, chocolate cake, coffee and walnut, cake pops and little meringues; needless to say, there weren’t any leftovers from this table!
Sam The Groom: As mentioned above, I’m a wedding photographer, so this was always going to be a big decision, not just for me, but for both of us. In the end, it was an easy decision. I’d known Alex for a couple of years before the wedding; we’ve regularly spoken about work and family, and over time, have become good friends. There was no doubt that I wanted him to shoot it, the question was, did he want the pressure of shooting another photographers wedding?! We could not have been happier with our decision to book Alex, not only with the images he has provided us with, but Alex went above and beyond in his efforts on the day. He was exactly what I wanted from a photographer; part of the day, documenting it as it happens, creative, and most of all, friendly and engaging with all of our guests.