Real Wedding: A Beautiful Beachside Winter Wedding
Laura's embellished Suzanne Neville wedding dress looked flawless with the beach backdrop, and was quirkily complemented by a pair of customised Converse, ideal for hitting the sand in.
Inspired by their coastal venue, Alex and Laura chose a palette of blues, greys and mint greens to create a picture perfect wedding day, complete with festive cocktails, stunning suspended pom poms and lovely foliage.
Photographer | Dominique Bader
How they met and the proposal
Alex and Laura met at work in 2007, when Alex was Laura's manager. It wasn't until 2010 that they got together, though.<br /><br />Laura left the company to go travelling and Alex met her in Australia, and the relationship blossomed from there.<br /><br />Four years later in 2014, Alex proposed to Laura. <br /><br />"He arranged a surprise weekend in Brighton where we stayed at The Grand Hotel," explains Laura. "We went for a walk along the beach and that is where Alex got down on one knee. We then spent the afternoon shopping in The Laines in Brighton as he knew that I had always wanted to get my ring from one of the jewellers there."
The venue and photographer
Alex and Laura chose <a href="http://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-gallivant_5636.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Gallivant</a> as the venue for their big day.<br /><br />"We spent a lot of time searching for a venue but couldn’t find one that was quite right," shares Laura. "We wanted somewhere near the coast, that was relaxed and not overly formal but somewhere that also felt special. The Gallivant was just what we were after plus more! It also had rooms for us and our guests to stay in, and they do beautiful food that is all sourced locally."<br /><br />The couple selected <a href="http://www.dominiquebader.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Dominique Bader</a> to photograph their wedding. "We came across her website and loved how natural her photos were. We had an initial chat with her on the phone and felt so at ease with her and felt that she understood what we were after," Laura says. "We knew we didn’t want to have lots of formal and posed photos, and really wanted the photos to tell a story and this is exactly what we got."
The Suzanne Neville wedding dress
Laura wore a <a href="http://www.suzanneneville.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Suzanne Neville</a> dress in the Cherish style for the wedding, purchased from <a href="http://www.missbush.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Miss Bush</a> in Ripley. The dress had a beautiful flowing silk chiffon skirt, a pleated bodice with embellished shoulders and an open back.<br /><br />"I’d been to a number of dress shops but nothing had stood out," reminisces Laura. As soon as I walked in to Miss Bush, Cherish was hanging up in front of me and I knew straight away that it was the one. It had the perfect mix of classic elegance but with the embellishment and sparkle that I wanted for a winter wedding."<br /><br />Laura kept her accessories minimal, going for a waterfall veil, and teardrop diamond earrings. When the newlyweds ventured out into the blustery beach winds, Laura added a wool shrug and scarf to keep warm. <br /><br /><br />
The groom's outfit
Alex wore a three-piece suit and silver tie from <a href="https://www.reiss.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Reiss</a>. <br /><br />"I chose my suit because it was well fitted and is a good investment as I can wear it again," he says. <br /><br />Alex's button hole held host to thistle, rosemary and hypericum berries.
The bridal bouquet
Laura's bouquet was a loose, hand-tied bouquet in white, green and blush tones, with thistles, garden roses, white anemones, ranunculus, wax flower, tuberose and eucalyptus and olive foliages.
The floral displays
Kim at <a href="http://www.theflowerhouse.biz" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Flower House Studio</a> created the floral displays, as well as the bouquets and button holes.<br /><br />"We were so happy with the flowers, they were just what we wanted," says Laura. "We had a eucalyptus arch with hanging votives over the entrance door to the venue and had mistletoe hanging up in the venue."<br /><br />"On the tables in the marquee we had glass votives with flowers in," she continues.<br /><br />The chairs in the ceremony were adorned with little jars filled with the same flowers, chosen for their natural look and lovely scent.
The wedding stationery and table plan
<a href="http://www.sincerelymay.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Sincerely May </a>created all of the wedding stationery, transforming Laura and Alex's vision into reality. <br /><br />"We initially did a search on Pinterest and created a board of all of the styles we liked," shares Laura.<br /><br />"We really wanted to introduce a chevron pattern into the stationery as this linked really well with the coastal theme. The stationery used all of our wedding colours so it tied in well with the day itself."<br /><br />To tie in with the beach setting, each of the tables was named after famous beaches Laura and Alex had been to together.
Wedding day decorations
The inspiration behind Alex and Laura's wedding day lay with their seaside location, with a few subtle nods to the festive season, without going overboard. They went for wedding colours of blues, mint green and soft grey to complement the coastal venue. <br /><br />"The theme was "let there be light" as we wanted to have lots of lights and candles to keep it cosy," explains Laura. "We hired a light canopy for the ceiling of the marquee, to create a romantic air."<br /><br />"We also hired beautiful paper pompoms from <a href="http://www.pompomblossom.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pom Pom Blossom</a>."<br /><br /><br />
For a little extra festive feeling, Laura and Alex hand painted pine cones with glitter and attached name cards to them, acting as twinkling name card holders.
An alternative to favours
Rather than provide favours, Alex and Laura had big bowls of Ferrero Rochers, Miniature Heroes and Roses for guests to help themselves to throughout the evening.
Bag it up
"Before everyone left they were provided with personalised paper bags containing water, a packet of crisps and a pack of love hearts for the journey home," shares Laura.<br /><br />"All of our guests had to travel to the venue so we wanted to thank them."
The Wedding Cake
The wedding cake was made by Tess at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chattercakes/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chatter Cakes</a>.<br /><br />"We opted for a three tier cake, one tier chocolate, one vanilla, and the third red velvet," says Laura.<br /><br />"It was simply decorated with white butter icing, a few of the wedding flowers and a Mr and Mrs topper."
Personalised wedding shoes
After the ceremony Alex and Laura slipped into pairs of personalised Converse trainers with their name and wedding date on the back and headed for the dunes, to take a collection of photos making the most of the stunning location.
The most memorable moment
"The most memorable part of our day was posing for photographs on the beach in winter, during 40 miles an hour wind," remembers Laura.<br /><br />"Everyone thought we were mad but the photos were worth it!"<br /><br />"Another highlight was seeing all of our friends and family for breakfast the following morning as we got to relive the day with them and nurse our hangovers together. We all went for a walk along the beach as well which was so nice."
Advice for brides-to-be
"My best piece of advice is start planning further ahead," laments Laura. "We realised very quickly how far in advance other couples book everything. This can affect your choices but luckily we eventually got everything we wanted."<br /><br />"Our best money saving idea was to hold a winter wedding, and have our ceremony and reception in one place so we didn’t have to worry about transport or making arrangements to move guests."