Lara & Jack’s wedding day at Clovelly will make your heart skip…
Not only are these images by Barney Walters utterly incredible, capturing the day perfectly at Clovelly Village, but the write-up by Bride Lara is so indepth that you’ll be hooked on her every word. She also has some very good advice at the end, so scroll through and soak in those words of wedded wisdom folks!
Both of us wanted to have the party of our lives for a whole weekend with all our friends and closest family members. Living in the Middle East we knew quite early that we wanted to get married in the UK.
Having our guests in mind we wanted to select a spot where they could turn our wedding weekend into their holiday, so we opted for North Devon. Clovelly as a location ticked all the boxes while having its own very particular charm: No cars, cobble stone, rough sea, cliffs, wild flowers, Landrover shuttle and let’s not forget the donkeys…!
With the help of Emma, Clovelly’s Wedding Coordinator, we used different venues of the village throughout the weekend. On Friday we had a get together in the Red Lion Pub with live music from our band! The reception and the dinner took place in the terraced garden of Clovelly Court, just around the corner from the church.
From the beginning I was looking for a lace dress with an open back. I had ten bridal shop appointments over two days in London. One bridal boutique had this Caroline Castigliano showroom dress which I bought with the condition that it is going to be fitted and adjusted by Caroline Castigliano in Knightsbridge. Lisa at CC did an amazing job!
Besides the beautiful open back, I love the Italian lace, the capped shoulders, the way it falls on the bottom, the train and the few sequins embedded within the dress which give the dress a subtle sparkle.
The second dress was actually meant for our Sunday Brunch. However, since the grass was so wet, my wedding dress got quite heavy so I decided on the spot to change to the short dress after we took our photos at the harbour.
The short dress which I bought online in Qatar is made by a great upcoming Kuwaiti designer. The lace bolero however was made by Mum, Ulla. We bought lace in London together and it’s now one of my favourite pieces.
For the girls, I just wanted them to feel comfortable so I gave them a colour range and everyone bought their own dress and shoes which worked perfectly.
For Jack, we were always looking for an electric blue suit, so I searched a lot of online blogs until we found Adam Waite – such a cool, relaxed, non-stuffy shop atmosphere with great suits and a bright colour collection. The Ushers and Best Man were asked to wear a light grey suit from their own wardrobe. We gave them ties to wear to work with the Bridesmaids dresses.
Our theme was handmade rustic with a vintage touch. We put a lot of thought into personalised details which started with our handmade signs. Our Hatch Marquee created a cosy atmosphere for the Wedding Breakfast with fairy lights, beige carpet, ivory cloths and lime washed chairs. Additionally, I hired a random selection of vintage furniture and props which I set up and decorated with lace table cloth, blankets and cushion ordered online on the spot without having a certain plan in mind.
Our florist, Claire from The Wilde Bunch, was a major help, adding her decorative touch everywhere! She brought a van full of rustic bits and pieces which worked perfectly with our theme. Her wild flowers were the most amazing thing and way beyond any expectations. We had big milk churns at the church, crates of flowers, pedestals, a flower backdrop behind the cake as well as random flowers in glasses and vases scattered around.
Our decoration was rounded up with personalised creative ideas mainly coming from Jack. Throughout the year we worked on individual sheets for our 100 guests with some information on how we met them and what they mean to us. These sheets we displayed on hessian boards in the bar area for all our guests to read, laugh and have a chat.
Our handmade table plan was based on our love for travelling. We named each table after a country we have visited or lived in. In addition to self-made flag poles for each table, we worked on country sheets which had pictures of us and some interesting/funny facts about the country. Each table also had a country specific musical instrument, such as the cowbell for Switzerland, which people had to use if they wanted to give a toast!
For a bit of a rustic festival style we had the village donkeys during the reception for children entertainment as well as Welly Tossing, a Strong Man game and a Popcorn machine.
We wanted our cake to be personal so Janet, Jack’s mum, made it. Janet is the only one in both of our families who can bake so there was certainly no fights about it!
We had the cool and fresh guys from The Shack Revolution to take care of everything drink related. From their festival cocktail bar they were serving UK cocktails with a twist – Dark & Stormy, Gin Fizz & Mojitos.
During the two-hour reception H&A were serving canapes, later on the starter (shrimp, coriander & chilli salad), main (Devon beef & roasted vegetables) and dessert (brownie, citron tarte, fruit skewers) were served on slate sharing plates. Our catering team also put on a hangover brunch on Sunday – they were absolutely brilliant and super flexible!
Barney, our photographer, knows how to capture precious moments of life without you even noticing it. Each individual picture brings back the feelings and atmosphere on that particular time of the day!
There is so much energy and movement in his photos which makes them very natural rather than posed. Besides capturing the weather characteristics and the surroundings, skies and landscapes in a unique way, Barney really brings out the connection between the couple. He basically allows you to re-live every special moment once again.
The are few best parts of our day. I loved having all my friends and family around and weddings have the power to gather them all. During our ceremony my mum Ursula, together with my bridesmaids, played a personlised version of “All you need is love”. My mum was on the organ, the girls were singing while my sister Mira-Maj and bridesmaid Anna Hantke were playing the flute. This to us was a total surprise and all you hear in the video of the performance is me screaming with laughter! Also, when we left the church, the donkeys were waiting outside for us. We basically led the crowd to the reception…
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
Try to organise as much as you can in advance so you don’t face any last minute surprises while setting up. Make yourself an excel list with every little thing you need and want to buy. That way you don’t have million things racing around your head. Make sure you have a fully kitted toolbox for the day to fix and glue some final items!
Give yourself more time than you need. Things take longer to prepare than you think. If you don’t have a wedding planner get yourself a few creative helpers (preferably no guests) for the day who can help you setting everything up. Doing it all by yourself is impossible…
On the day however, enjoy every minute of it. Time flies and despite the fact that we started early in the morning, the day and night were gone in an instant. Make sure that you have one person/bridesmaid who is in charge of checking your dress, veil etc. so you don’t have to worry about the details.
Also, don’t let the weather annoy you, sometimes things happen for a reason…