This afternoon's wedding has style in spades and I just know you're going to love it. It ticks all the boxes for me - fabulous coastal location, incredible food, opulent florals, gorgeous bride and groom looking insanely happy and a dream team of suppliers, headed up by wonderful wedding planners Isla and Smith. Bride Sophie is a Chef herself (the brilliant creative behind Rose & Food), so naturally the food was a hugely important part of her and Chris' big day. Now if you've ever been to Cornwall, you'll know that The Hidden Hut is somewhat of an institution and is on everyone's holiday bucket list - their feast nights are infamous. It made totally sense then, that Sophie and Chris wanted The Hidden Hut to cater their wedding day. Let's just say, the food, along with everything else for that matter, looked a total dream...
Our WeddingSophie the Bride: Our dream day was pulled together in a relatively short period of time, as we started officially planning it in November. Cornwall is a special place to us, Chris holidayed there as a child and I love the stunning countryside and beaches. We always wanted to get married outside surrounded by beautiful scenery. Having spent years following the snow and doing ski seasons, the mountains were our first choice but we soon realised that there was as much beauty here at home.
The LocationAfter lusting as Simon Stallards & The Hidden Huts food for years, we begged him to do the food for the wedding. And that's where we started. Simon showed us around various beaches, hilltops and fields...then we went to look at Place Manor. We hadn't even pulled into the driveway properly before we decided that's where we wanted our wedding to take place. Not only is the house breathtaking but the view is even better. Settled on the headland and estuary you've got the view out towards St Mawes across the water but are sheltered from the elements so it was ideal for a Spring wedding. Particularly one where you've got no control over the weather.
The VibeWe wanted the day to feel like a party. Largely informal, full of great food & drink, bolstered by a band to get the party started and ultimately a laugh from start to finish. The little touches brought the day together, from the flower arch at the reception, the candelabras in the church, hand calligraphy name places and menus, plus the table flowers (which the whole family got together to make on the Friday). I just closed down our Wedding Website today but the URL was aboutbloodyti.me Chris and I have been together a ridiculous 11 years before we got married so I think our family and friends really were thinking thank god. We met at school and have grown up together essentially. We were also joined by many school friends we've known for well over 17 years. My maid of honour and Chris' best man are also friends from school. We amazingly have known them for most of our lives.
The DetailsOur invites were mini telegraphs with simple letters...almost ALL of them got lost in the post, or our guests had to pay £1.50 to receive them after a screw up by the post office. I can laugh about this now as all our guests arrived, many of them out of pocket. The day was completely magical. It felt like we floated through the whole thing as it sped by. Everything from singing Town Called Malice with my dad in the car on there as my brother chauffeured us, to the impromptu rowing boat trip Chris and I took, to the speech where Chris told "our story" of how we met, the off-the-cuff speeches my family made, to the cards my dad held up saying everything he couldn't say out loud, to the fireworks, and dancing with my friends and family in a candlelit room at 2am...the whole day was just insane. We couldn't have asked for more. Plus the sun shone all day! What are the chances! We finished the weekend off with a trip to the Hidden Hut on Portcurnick Beach followed by an evening of Pizza & Champagne. Not a bad way to end the wedding.
The StylingPeonies started it all. They are my favourite flowers and we took lead from the seasonal colours that are available. Pinks, Corals, Blushes mixed with lots of greenery. We also had a hint of blue in our menus, table plan and welcome board to echo the sea. They were designed by the talented by Jinny. We had lots of candles, lighting in the trees outside, lots of festoon lighting everywhere, firepits and we floated 200 hundred candles on the water as the sun was setting. Brass candlesticks: These were painstakingly collected and bought from eBay & Charity shops from Cornwall to Manchester. Over 100 in total. And then all brasso'd...more painful than it sounds. As we were by the sea, and the groom is a big fan of Wes Anderson, we created our own little club hats. Similar to those worn in the Live Aquatic, our red beanie hats were adorned with our own logo which incorporated our initials with a piece of gold fisherman's rope tied in a knot. We then added in little cards thanking our guests and welcoming them to our SOCH Adventure Club.The logo was incorporated into our invites and our table plan. It was great to see people wearing these in the evening, and the next day at the beach.
The FlowersTable Flowers: Mixture of wild flowers (My Nan Hazel (who was also my Flower Woman) took my sister and brother on the Friday morning to pick wild flowers from nearby), mixed with eucalyptus and flowers from Bloom & Wild (I bulk ordered them, got them delivered on Thursday, chopped them to height, and they were fully bloomed for Saturday) These were put together by my whole family, including my Father in Law. They put together almost 60 vases of flowers in the end. We chose Bloom & Wild because the flowers were seasonal, they had the perfect blush Peonies (another reason we chose to get married in May). And they were affordable and allowed us creativity. Bouquets, Flower Arch, Hanging installation, Vases around the cakes, bar etc: These were made by the incredibly talented Marisa from Flowers By M. We chose to work with her because of her stunning wild, loose style. She is also local, being based in Falmouth. Like me, she is also running a relatively new business and she really got my vision for the day. Church Flowers: The arch and church flowers were created by Sue who works with St Just at Roseland. They were a mixture of roses and greenery from Cornwall and the St Just Gardens. Bridesmaids Headbands: These were made the night before by my Maid of Honour (Dalia Jaffar) and Sister-in-Law & Bridesmaid, Jenny Barton.
The Wedding PartyBridesmaids: I wanted the bridesmaids to feel like themselves on the day, and to show of their natural beauty. So we went with different dresses. I didn't get to see all the dresses together until the day but I was thrilled with how they turned out.
The CeremonyWe had a reading from When Harry Met Sally. It's our favourite film and it felt fitting. I also walked for the aisle to an instrumental piece of music called Farewell. It's from Pocahontas. Yes it was cheesy, yes it was over the top, yes it was dramatic. But it's my favourite piece of music. I walked down the aisle with my dad, and just about held it together. I couldn't even look at Chris at first for fear that I would either burst out laughing or crying. It was always going one way or the other. Nerves. I also didn't want a flower girl. My grandparents are very important to me, and I asked my Nan Hazel (my mums mum) to be my Flower Women. She did a stellar job and I was thrilled to have her as part of my day. She mentioned years ago that she never got to walk down the aisle so this was the perfect opportunity.
The EntertainmentWe had a large band called The Brogues. They played a parred back set during the day as our guests ate canapes, scallops and sculled down Gin Cocktails. They then played a big set with two vocalists and a brass section in the evening, ending with Proud Mary. There was a helluva lot of hair throwing, glitter and confetti canons. The dance floor was absolutely packed all evening. We then moved to the house at 1 am and had a silent disco in their Billiards Room. The whole room was decorated with flowers and was purely candle lit. The grand table was laid like a feast from King Henry the VIII time with pasties, sausage rolls, cake, cheese boards and leftover sirloin steaks. A lot of Electro was played on one channel, a worrying amount of show tunes was played on the second channel. We danced the night away until many dropped where they stood. Surprise Talent Show: my Dad opened his speech by terrifying the guests. He announced that he would ask the audience if they had any special talents for them to perform for the "talent show". My siblings, my mum and my great aunt all gave impromptu and touching speeches. But unbeknownst to me, it was all a ruse to give my best friend, and maid of honour the chance to stand up and sing. Her voice is just insane but I hadn't asked her because I didn't want to put any pressure on her. But she got up and sang "The Colours of the Wind". The most underrated Disney movie, Pocahontas. I had two small Disney touches...despite my husband not being a fan. I loved it, it was like a private performance between her and I. I bawled my eyes out...as I pretty much did most of the day. We had two nannies to look after the 12 children during the afternoon. They had their own party with their own food and cake before they joined us for the dancing and fun in the evening. It really took the pressure of many parents who were extremely grateful we'd thought about them.
The FoodCanapes:Scallops with Champagne Butter, Crispy Pork Bell with Plum Relish, St Mawes Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Horseradish Creme Fraiche Asparagus Tip & Cheese Tartlets Starters: Beetroot Terrine or Mackeral Pate with Pickled Vegetables & Crisp toasts Mains: Whole Sirloins, Herb Rotisserie Chickens, Fondant Potatoes, Rich gravy, Chimichurri (a throwback to my time living in Argentina), Spring Greens with wild Garlic & Flowers & for the vegetarians we served Salt Baked Celeriac. There was SO MUCH FOOD. One guest said he "ate himself sober". We didn't want anyone to be hungry. For us, that was a huge wedding No No. Dessert: Amalfi Lemon Torte Cake: The cake was made by a friend of mine that I trained with as a chef. She was also on the Great British Bake off. Kate Henry is immensely talented and just an all-round beautiful person. She created a three-tiered masterpiece for us. Salted Caramel & Chocolate, Lemon with Amalfi Lemon Curd & Buttercream and the top was Pistachio with Raspberry Buttercream. I genuinely still thinking about it. Each layer also had Italian Meringue Buttercream layers & detailed piping. It also had a shimmery gold finish to complement the gold accents in the decor. Evening Food: - Cornish Pasties & Sausage Rolls - Cheese "cake" with chutneys and crackers Bar: I don't have enough good words to say about the team at Buffalo Bar. Our guests really couldn't get enough of their drinks. They put together a bespoke menu for the day, we had our own unique welcome cocktail which was light pink to match the decor. And the Espresso Martinis kept everyone awake and ready to party. Highly recommend them!
The Photography & VideographyJo from Enchanted Brides. We fell in love with her style of photography. It's extremely beautiful, but there is a wildness and natural element too it that makes it so unique. We first saw Jo on Instagram and got in touch. She was honestly fantastic on the day and dealt with two awkward people in front of the camera (Chris & I), plus my mad family who had their "official" group shots at about midnight. Needless to say, they are...unique. Down South POV is a really cool company. Having done a wedding at Place before we thought it would be good to get people on board that know the area well. They also film a lot with drones so captured some out of the world shots of the fireworks.
The FireworksI've long been obsessed with parties in films that end with a big crescendo of fireworks. Think Meet Joe Black or the Great Gatsby. Chris & I both love fireworks & on the day we were surprised with an insane display. It was the perfect way to draw the dinner and drinks to a close before the party really ramped up late into the night.
AdviceDon't get caught up in having too many small details. There is so much pressure on people to have the most Instagram/Pinterest inspired wedding but honestly, on the day you won't even notice things. We forgot to put out our table games, our glasshouse card box (which I painstakingly sourced), lawn games etc. The whole day felt like an outer body experience, it was like being happily drunk without the alcohol. I've never smiled some much in my life. Blankets & Wraps: we had big boxes of wraps and blankets for the evening which did get a bit chilly. We had well over 100 pashminas and blankets and they all went. It didn't cost a huge amount but our guests really appreciated it as they sat around the fire pits and watched the fireworks. Think outside the box. You don't need to buy everything. Hire, borrow, or get things cheap from wholesale websites or eBay. ACCEPT THE HELP! You can't do everything and people really do care. Get them to do jobs like postage, sorting RSVPs, putting ribbons on cars, making breakfast etc. Also - say no to chair covers, you don't need that sweet carousel, a light up dancefloor isn't essential, hangers with your bridesmaid's names on aren't a deal breaker...all those little things are nice but not needed. Only you will truly appreciate them. Your guests are just there for you and your partner and truly can't wait to see you smiling and happy. And finally, set a time in your head to switch off from planning and start enjoying. We had all our friends and family in Cornwall from the Friday so at midday I decided enough was enough. We both turned off the planning heads and joined the party.
Videography : Down South POV | Bride: Sassi Holford | Boutique: Miss Bush Bridal | Groom: Paul Smith | Flowers: Flowers With M | Sperry Tent: Sperry Tents South West | Planning & Styling: Isla & Smith | Glassware Hire: Duchess & Butler | Bar: The Buffalo Bar | Food: The Hidden Hut | Cake: Kate Henry | Waiting Staff: Serve Cornwall | Generator: South West Electrical Hire | Stationery: Vine In The Wild | Band: The Brogues | Bride: Rose & Food | Headpiece: Ivory & Co.